Recently the issue of domestic violence and particularly violence against women has become a subject of active discussion among human rights activists and the wider public in Georgia. Different media sources have been disseminating information on numerous facts of violence committed against women. IDFI decided to look into the issue and ascertain to what extent the issue of domestic violence inter alia violence against women was problematic in Georgia. Hence in December 2014 we referred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office with a FOI letter, requesting to provide us with statistical information on the number of registered and investigated cases of domestic violence. Provision of the information indicating the gender of aggressor and victim was requested.
Based on the information disclosed by the Prosecutors Office at the end of December 2014 it was ascertained that during the first 11 months of 2014 number of homicide committed based on domestic violence, was considerably increased as compared to previous years.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs provided us with the information requested by the FOI letter sent on December 2nd, 2014 only on February 16th, 2015, that is with considerable violation of timeframes set by the legislation. The received information contains data on the number of homicides committed resulting from domestic violence during the period from the second half of 2012 (the relevant article on domestic violence was enshrined in the Criminal Code of Georgia in June 2012) and including first ten months of 2014. The received information contained data on the number of premeditated murders, premeditated murder under aggravated circumstances as well as attempt of the murder.
Based on the received information we can conclude that in all cases except one, the gender of aggressor committing murder under domestic violence was male.
It should be highlighted that during the first 10 months of 2014 the cases of murders committed based on domestic violence has considerably increased and reached the number of 23. The figure is in contrast with the statistical information of previous years. I.e. in 2013 there were registered 14 cases of murder committed based on domestic violence. In 2012 the figure equaled to 5.
It is also worth emphasizing here that, cases of the murder committed under aggravated circumstances were registered only in 2014 (three cases in whole). These facts were registered in the regions of Adjara, Tbilisi and Mtskheta-Mtianeti. According to the Criminal Code of Georgia a murder is committed under aggravated circumstances when e.g. the victim of the crime is a minor or a pregnant woman, the crime is committed under extreme violence, for mercenary purposes, by contract, maliciously etc.
Based on the information received from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutors Office domestic violence constitutes a highly problematic issue in Georgian reality. This issue has become particularly critical with recent increase in the number of homicides committed on the grounds of domestic violence. With this in mind development of the Action Plan on the Measures to be Implemented in order to Fight Domestic Violence as well as adoption of the relevant law by the Parliament of Georgia should be assessed positively. IDFI also welcomes the amendments made to the Criminal Code of Georgia of February 18th, 2015 based on which stricter sentence for domestic violence, which did not result in murder or serious damage to health has been enshrined in the legislation (e.g. these actions may constitute violence resulting in physical and psychical suffering of the victim). In addition statistical information published on the web-page of the Ministry of Internal Affairs ensures that anyone interested in the issue has easy access to the data.
Regardless of the abovementioned, it should be noted that the reform will only be successful in case when involvement of public in the process is well ensured. We hope that along with implementation of the action plan and involvement of wider public in the process, the problem of domestic violence will be solved at least partially. IDFI will further work on the issue of domestic violence in Georgia and will provide public with comprehensive information on the subject.
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