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Georgia’s Interior Min. Must Compensate Family of Domestic Violence Murder Victim

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 27
(TBILISI) -- Georgia’s Interior Ministry has been ordered to pay a monthly compensation to the family of a victim killed in 2014 by her husband while she was teaching at Tbilisi’s Ilia State University, the City Court in the Georgian capital ruled last week.

The court handed down its verdict after it ruled the police failed to properly protect the victim, despite clear warnings that the victim’s husband was a threat to her life.

“The deceased woman’s mother testified that her daughter called law enforcement officials several times. The police, however, failed to protect the victim and did nothing to protect her from the man who ended up committing the crime,” said the lawyer of the victim’s family.

Marika Tsivtsivadze, a lecturer at Georgia’s one of the biggest state universities, was shot dead by her husband on October 17, 2014 after he arrived at one of her lectures and called for her to come out of the class in order to talk. As she left the class, Tsivtsivadze was shot dead in the university hall.

At the time of her murder Tsivtsivadze lived alone with her young daughter. She left her husband after suffering years of physical and psychological abuse, according to the victim’s family.

Tsivtsivadze’s daughter will receive a portion of the state compensation package – equal to half of her mother’s salary from the university – until she reaches the age of 18.

Violence against women continues to plague the Georgian society. Few signs point to the long--term improvement of the situation as the government, law enforcement officials and the powerful Orthodox Church do little but pay lip service to help root out the problem.

The country’s high rate of unemployment amongst the male population, as well as its conservative patriarchal society that considers violence against women to be a taboo or an acceptable part of domestic affairs, contribute to the lack of progress in cracking down on deadly physical outbursts against women.

According to UN reports filed in 2015 and 2016, physical violence against women in Georgia remains “at devastatingly high levels”. The reports cited “public indifference” and a lack of support for the victims as contributing factors to the ongoing problem.

The reports stated that many of the female victims of abuse were the breadwinners for their families.