Georgian government initiatives, including legislation to criminalize domestic violence, appear to be having a positive effect in protecting women from abuse by spouses and relatives.
Data on domestic violence in Georgia is patchy, and in some cases raises questions. For example, while the Georgian ombudsperson’s office compiles figures for femicide – defined by the World Health Organization as “the intentional murder of women because they are women” – the Georgian Interior Ministry does not. Georgia’s criminal code does not recognize murders of females as a distinct crime.
In the past, as elsewhere in the South Caucasus, Georgian women tended to keep quiet about abuse by spouses, fathers or brothers. But now, to escape domestic violence, they increasingly are heading to four state-run shelters.
The annual number of residents at these shelters – located in the capital, Tbilisi, and the regional towns of Batumi, Gori and Sighnaghi – more than quadrupled from 2010-2015 to 188. Currently, some 108 women and children are living in the facilities.
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