Registered domestic abuse numbers halved since 2007
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, June 15The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has released a report regarding domestic violence and crimes committed by and against juveniles, for the years 2007-2011.
Stressing the sensitivity of the issues, the authors emphasized the importance of public engagement in execution of legislation, prevention, and rehabilitation of victims of violence.
A survey found that there were 1,025 cases of family violence registered during the five year period. The main targets of violence were women; 887 men and 89 women, mainly aged 25-44, were classified as oppressors during this period. There were 904 women and 117 men registered as victims of violence. Of those, 59% of men were above the age of 45, while 58% of women were between 25 and 44.
The MIA also found that 56% of family violence incidents are based on psychological pressure, while 36% were physical. There were 463 cases of psychological violence and 259 of physical pressure in 2007; data shows that this figure was almost halved in 2011.
The rate of economic and sexual violence has also dropped in this period. In 2011 there were 14 cases of economic violence and three sexual, a slight decrease over 2007.
Physical injuries, beating and threatening, are the main type of family violence. Tbilisi ranks first in physical violence with 632 cases, followed by Adjara with 84. Although the number of incidences in 2011 is half what it was in 2007, there is an increase over the 2008-2010 numbers.
Family conflict is also frequent in Georgia, especially between husbands and wives, parents and children, and couples in unregistered marriages. As the survey found, such conflicts were mainly caused by drunkenness, property-related issues, and jealousy.
Out of 3,952 family conflicts in 2010-2011, the number of men and women were almost equally distributed, mainly in the 25-44 age category. There were also cases when a single individual had initiated conflicts more than four times.
There were 991 cases of family conflict in 2010, but 2,961 the following year. Tbilisi remained at the top of the list, followed by Shida Kartli/Samtskhe Javakheti.
Conflicts happen at educational institutions as well. After 23 such cases were reported in 2010, the number jumped to 94 in 2011. According to the statistics, juvenile crime has been decreasing over the past five years. The number of crimes committed by youths was 1,003 in 2007; the number dropped to 556 in 2011. Ninety-six percent of male juvenile criminals were between the ages of 16 and 18, and were regularly accused of theft, robbery and illegal possession of weapons. The majority of administrative penalties were given for traveling on public transportation without a ticket and jaywalking. There were 206 cases of violence between youths in 2011.
Decrease in number of registered violence doesn’t give the full picture of the situation in the country. Although a variety of government and non-government organizations are working on these issues, providing psychological and physical assistance to families, some of the numbers are alarming. Experts say that the variety of socio-economic, education or health issues Georgians face today can exacerbate the situation, and that gender issues require more attention. As Manana Purtskhvanadze Lawyer of Anti-violence Network of Georgia explained to The Messenger the overall situation concerning domestic violence is not quite optimistic. In most cases, violators and their victims live with violence until the end of their lives. Unfortunately, violence between a mother and a father may cause psychological trauma to develop in their children.