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Public Defender Asks for Definition of Femicide as Separate Crime

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, June 20
In 2017, investigations were launched in 26 cases of femicide, 14 out of which included signs of domestic crimes, and in 15 cases- attempted murder of women, 12 out of which included signs of domestic violence.

The statistics were presented by Georgia’s Public Defender Nino Lomjaria during the presentation of femicide monitoring results. The document provides an analysis of the attempts of femicide and attempted murder of women and also the steps undertaken by the government in terms of protecting women from violence and assisting them.

“These statistics indicate that most murders of women are related to domestic violence and the main recommendation of the public defender in this direction is to define femicide as a separate crime,” Lomjaria stressed.

She added that despite the increased rate of restraining orders and reports, unfortunately, monitoring and evaluation systems have only recently been introduced in relation to the cases of femicide.

According to the femicide monitoring report, the high rate of femicide is closely related to gender inequality in the country, as well as to the inefficient policy on violence against women and domestic violence and deficiencies in the victim assistance system.

As a result of analyzing the court decisions, Lomjaria found out that the femicide is mainly committed by partner men and the main motive is usually jealousy and revenge.

According to the ombudsman, out of 7 cases of femicide, 3 were committed in a domestic space and 4 in public spaces, including streets, schoolyard and forest. The main weapons of murder were a knife, a concrete tile, a firearm, a stone, a car crash and beating.

The main recommendations of the public defender are:

- Definition of femicide as a separate, gender-motivated crime

- At the trial stage, the gender motive of a murder should be underlined

- The Prosecutor's Office of Georgia shall find and study the materials preceding the violence

- While indicating the mitigating circumstances during the abuser’s evaluation by the court, specifics of the crime should be taken into account.

The draft law on femicide failed twice in the parliament. On May 3, 2016, the Republican Party addressed the Parliament with the initiative. According to the draft law, the Criminal Code should have had the definition of a femicide as a premeditated gender-motivated murder of a woman.

A month ago, Georgian Parliament agreed to discuss the petition started by the Movement of Women regarding femicide in Georgia. However, no discussion regarding the issue has taken place in the parliament yet.