Statement of ISFED on acts of violence against women

Recently acts of violence against women in Georgia have reached an alarming rate, many of which ended with horrifying, ostentatious murders of women. 

We believe that first and foremost, law enforcement authorities should take strict measures in response and reinforce preventive mechanisms. It is also important that public in general and public figures in particular give proper assessment to these acts and demonstrate a special effort to improve the existing situation. 

Under the Georgian law the responsibility to take measures to prevent domestic violence lies with the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia, as well as the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia; the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia; the Prosecution Service of Georgia and the judicial authorities. These institutions, in frames of the scope of their work, should identify individuals at risk of domestic violence and design effective mechanisms for prevention. They are also responsible to analyze actors of domestic violence and conduct adequate information and educational campaign. 

It is the direct responsibility of the law enforcement authorities to take appropriate actions in response; in particular, the Interior Ministry is obligated to launch immediate investigation into the report of violence as opposed to only issuing a warning, as it did on a number of occasions. 

Further, we believe that when perpetrator of domestic violence is a representative of law enforcement authorities and reports about his violence or threats made by him have been filed in the police department, and despite of these reports his right to carry a weapon has not been restricted, to a certain extent responsibility must also fall on his direct supervisor. The police is acting as an accomplice by failing to take actions in response to the violence. 

We believe that the Interior Ministry has failed to fulfill action plan against domestic violence and for the protection of victims of domestic violence, adopted by the presidential decree of July 17, 2013.  It is important that within the scope of concrete strategies the Interior Ministry acts proactively both to implement preventive mechanisms and take adequate further response. 

It is important for the Inter-Agency Council for Prevention of Domestic Violence to engage proactively and elaborate effective mechanisms, and in partnership with international organization help facilitate participation of any interested organization that can contribute to effectiveness of the work of the council. 

Lastly, we believe that public figures should express their strong position against any acts of violence. Recent attempts to justify perpetrators or law enforcement authorities are unacceptable.