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Government responds to surge of violence against women

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 24
Violence against women has become a key issue recently and the government claims that they will respond to the challenge adequately, and in a timely manner. It is clear that the problem can’t be solved overnight, as it requires a deep and comprehensive approach.

More than 20 women were killed by their husbands in 2014, all which were covered by the media. However, the latest murder of a female teacher at Ilia University resulted in public outrage, which forced the government to respond.

In response, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili stated that together with the existing indifferent attitudes of society with regard to domestic abuse, the main challenge offering adequate protection measures.

He said that that in the most cases, the actions of law enforcement institutions were limited to asking the offender to write a letter of acknowledgement.

“The current protection from violence legal mechanisms are very ineffective. There were cases when a person had provided several letters but the violence continued,” Nanuashvili said, appealing to the government to create a specific strategy to fight for the eradication of violence against women. “[We need] a strategy that will be aimed at not just the effective investigation of acts of violence, but one that will also prevent similar crimes from happening,” Nanuashvili said.

Women’s rights groups state that issuing restraining orders requires the court’s permission. The Interior Ministry recognizes that the current procedures are ineffective. That being said, going forward, the ministry says that police officers will now issue restraining orders in the future.

At his meeting with various religious representatives on October 20, President Giorgi Margvelashvili mentioned the need of a cohesive action plan. He stressed that all state structures and religious institutions should be involved in the process.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili dedicated a special government meeting to the issue, where Deputy Interior Minister Levan Izoria informed that the ministry will present a national strategy against violence, where special attention will be focused on domestic violence issues. He stressed that the punishment will become more severe in terms of those committing violence, and that law-enforcement will soon have the right to detain offenders. Gharibashvili condemned the incidents and stated that the government should collaborate with everyone who has worked on domestic violence, women’s rights and inclusion.