Physical and psychological abuse against women one of most serious problems in Georgia
According to a report by the Public Defender, the ‘fight against discrimination and the establishment of equality, physical and psychological abuse against women’ remains a major problem.
In the report it states that legislative bodies do not react the way they should to incidents of abuse in the family or outside of it, and women who are victims of abuse are often also victims of discrimination.
The ombudsman stressed that law enforcement agencies often do not conduct interviews with possible victims, and there are also cases when they do not act the way they should when a possible perpetrator turns out to be an employee of the same agencies.
The document also describes reactions to sexual advances and says that ‘unfortunately, sexual advances both at work and in public are still outside the realm of legislation’.
“Sexual advances and oppression are common and their specific nature, which in the Georgian reality is a hidden phenomenon, is due to the fact that in the country there are still no gender stereotypes according to which unwanted relations are ‘provoked’ by the woman herself at work or in another atmosphere.
“The majority of victims do not know from whom they should seek help. Often, the victims believe that the situation is not serious enough or dangerous enough to warrant telling someone about it, and sometimes they think that they themselves are in some way guilty for having brought about the humiliating situation, and that they need to get over it,” says the report.
According to a statement of the ombudsman Uchi Nanuashvili, despite the fact that Georgia has signed the convention of the Council of Europe in the fight against violence against women, domestic violence and the implementation of preventative actions. In doing so, Georgia took upon itself the obligation to legislate criminal responsibility and other sanctions for sexual assault and to enshrine them as a matter of law, and this issue has still not been resolved.
The ombudsman has, for the first time, given instructions for dealing with cases of sexual assault at work when an employee is assaulted by her employer.
The public defender studied 201 cases in a period spanning from September 2016 through to August 2017. Eleven recommendations and eleven general proposals were put forward. An investigation into 99 cases has been stopped. The majority of cases concerned discriminating factors such as dissent (12 per cent), sexual orientation and gender identity (11 percent), religion (10 percent) and political views (9 per cent).
A special report on The fight Against Discrimination, Its Eradication and the Situation With Equality is the third to be released after the law on anti-discrimination came into effect.