Violence against women means all acts of gender‐based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Physical violence – beating, torture, damage to health, illegal deprivation of liberty or any other action that causes physical pain or suffering, withholding health needs, which leads to damage to health or death of a family member;
Psychological violence - offence, blackmailing, humiliation, threats, or any other action that violates a person's honor and dignity;
Economic violence - an act which causes restriction of the right to have food, dwelling and other conditions for normal development, to enjoy property and labor rights, to use common property and to administer one's own share of that property;
Sexual violence - sexual act by violence or threat of violence, or by taking advantage of the victim's helplessness; sexual act or other acts of sexual nature or child sexual abuse;
Coercion - compelling a person by using physical or psychological force to carry out or fail to carry out an act, carrying out or refraining from which is the right of that person, or making a person tolerate an action carried out against his/her will;
Neglect - a deficit in meeting a child's physical and psychological needs by a parent and/or legal guardian, limitation of the right to basic education, failure to protect from harm, failure to take necessary actions for birth registration and the enjoyment of medical and other services, in cases when the parent and/or legal guardian has adequate information, capacity and access to relevant services.
In cases of domestic violence, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, child (stepchild), adopted child, foster child, adoptive parent, spouse of adoptive parent, foster family (foster mother, foster father), grandchild, sister, brother, parents of a spouse, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, former spouse, persons who are in a non- registered marriage and members of their families, guardians, supporters, persons who are or have been members of a joint household, can be considered as family members. Family members also include persons with whom a child is staying/living on the basis of a legal act or a civic legal agreement, when the duty to care and protect legal interests of the child has been given to the person on the basis of the same legal act or a civic legal agreement.
A victim is a woman or any family member whose constitutional rights and freedoms have been violated through neglect and/or physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence or coercion and who was given the status of a victim of domestic violence by the relevant service of the Ministry for Internal Affairs and/or by a court and/or by a group within the Interagency Council on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence tasked with determining the status of victims of domestic violence (victim identification group); A victim is also a child whose legal interests have been neglected and who was given the status of a victim by the relevant service of the Ministry for Internal Affairs and/or the victim identification group. In addition, a victim is a minor who, on the basis of a legal act or a civic legal agreement, is staying/living with another guardian or any other person who has violated his or her constitutional rights and freedoms through neglect and/or physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence or coercion and who has been separated from the abuser by a social worker. A child who has witnessed violence is also a victim.
An alleged victim of domestic violence is a person who considers himself or herself as a victim and addresses relevant entities/bodies/victim identification group with the aim of determining the status of victim of violence.
A family member who violates the constitutional rights and freedoms of another family member through neglect or and/or physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence or coercion towards another family member, is considered as an abuser. An abuser is also a family member or any other person who inflicts gender-based physical, psychological, sexual violence or coercion on a woman in public or in private life. An abuser is also a guardian or any other person who violates the constitutional rights and freedoms of a minor who is staying/living with him/her on the basis of a legal act or a civic legal agreement, through neglect or and/or physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence or coercion.
Law enforcement and judicial bodies, also the Group for Determining Domestic Violence Victim Status of the Interagency Council for Prevention of Domestic Violence, shall ensure identification of and relevant response to cases of domestic violence, according to the procedures established by this Law. The obligation to apply to relevant authorities for primary identification of and response to domestic violence shall rest with the authorized personnel of medical institutions, or, in cases of violence against minors, authorized personnel of childcare and educational institutions, also authorized employees of the Legal Entity under Public Law (LEPL) – the Social Service Agency, of guardianship and custodianship authorities, and other entities provided by the legislation of Georgia.
On cases of violence against women and/or domestic violence, the victim/alleged victim and his or her family member, and in the case of violence against minors, also the guardianship and custody authority, may appeal to court. In addition, based on victims’ consent, persons who provide medical, legal, and psychological assistance to victims can also appeal to court in cases of violence against women and/or domestic violence.
Mechanisms of criminal, civil and administrative law can be used for identification and elimination of violence against women and/or domestic violence.
Administrative law mechanisms shall be applied when the nature of the offence, under the legislation of Georgia, does not attract criminal liability and can be eliminated under the Administrative Code of Georgia.
To ensure prompt response to domestic violence cases, the authorized body or person may issue a restraining or protective order as a temporary measure in order to provide protection for the victim and to restrain certain actions of the abuser.
A protective order is an act issued by a court (judge) of first instance through an administrative proceeding that determines temporary measures for protecting the victim. These measures are not applied in cases where criminal prosecution has been initiated or if detention has been applied as a measure of restraint against the person.
A restraining order is an act issued by an authorized police officer that determines temporary measures for protecting a victim of domestic violence and that enters into force upon issuance. Within 24 hours after its issuance, it is sent/submitted to the victim and the abuser, and one copy of the restraining order remains in the entity of issuance.
A restraining order is an act issued by an authorized police officer directly upon responding to the fact of violence (when police is called during a specific fact of violence) and it enters into force immediately. A copy of the restraining order is immediately sent to: the relevant regional office of the territorial body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, according to the residence of the victim, in order to respond to the violation of the requirements and obligations envisaged through the restraining order; Information-Analytical Department, in order to record relevant information in the adequate database, provide prompt and effective response to offenses and gather statistical data; LEPL Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, if the restraining order concerns weapon-related issues; and the guardianship and custody authority, if the issue envisaged by the restraining order is related to a minor. The victim or the abuser can appeal the restraining order within 3 days of its issuance/submission. Within 10 days from the filing of the application by an authorized person, the court makes a decision regarding the issuance, extension, termination, or non-issuance of the protective order.
According to the law, victims of domestic violence, their family members and/or, with the consent of the victim, a person who provides medical, legal or psychological assistance to the victim, may apply for a protective order. The mentioned persons should file an application to the court.
Protective orders is issued for a period of up to six months. A court specifies its validity.
A court shall decide on the issue of changing the validity of a protective order. The validity of a protective order may be extended during the period of its operation and for an additional term that shall not exceed three months, if the victim and other family members of the victim are at risk.
At the request of the parties, a protective or restraining order may be terminated by a corresponding decision of a court upon conciliation of the parties and on the basis of a joint application to the court or an authorized police officer, after thorough and comprehensive examination of case circumstances, except for the cases in which there is still a risk of violence against the victim or another family member, as well as in cases in which the conciliation of the parties does not hinder the issuance of a restraining or protective order or cause the termination of the issued orders when there is still a risk of violence against the victim or another family member and/.or the fact of domestic violence violates the interests of other family members, especially minors' interests.
The restraining order is issued for a period of up to 1 month.
It is possible for all limitations to be applied simultaneously upon the issuance of the order.
Criminal law mechanisms shall be applied in those cases of domestic violence that contain elements of a criminal offence, including: murder, intentional infliction of grave injury, rape, false imprisonment, beating or any other form of violence leading to serious damage to health or significant deterioration or loss of general working ability, etc.
Criminal liability also applies in cases of breach of the requirements and/or conditions envisaged by protective and restraining orders.
For the purposes of the Criminal Code of Georgia, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, child (stepchild), adopted child, foster child, adoptive parent, spouse of adoptive parent, foster family (foster mother, foster father), grandchild, sister, brother, parents of a spouse, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, former spouse, persons who are in a non- registered marriage and members of their families, guardians, supporters, persons who are or have been members of a joint household, can be considered as family members.
Civil law mechanisms shall be applied for compensation of the damages caused by domestic violence, according to the procedure determined by the civil legislation. More specifically, a person who inflicts damage to another person through unlawful, deliberate or negligent action, is obliged to compensate the damage.
If traces of violence can be observed on a minor, the court is authorized to separate the minor from abusive parent/parents, as a temporary measure.
When considering the matter related to the right of representation of the minor, account shall be taken of the fact that if the abusive parent retains the right to represent the minor it will be harmful to the interests of the minor. Parents may not retain joint custody of the minor, if there is reasonable belief that one of the parents may commit violence against the minor.
Minors from the age of 14 may defend their right and legitimate interests in court. In that case the court shall assign a procedural representative and hear the case. The court shall involve the guardianship and custody authority in such matters. Minor claimants may disagree with their procedural representative and defend themselves.
It shall be inadmissible to interview a minor witness of victim in relation to domestic violence. When issuing a restraining or protective order, a minor witness or victim may not be interviewed (asked to provide explanations) in the presence of the alleged abusive parent(s).
It shall also be inadmissible to allow a person to act as a legal representative of the minor in the criminal proceedings if this person is an alleged abuser or if there are doubts as to his/her impartiality based on the nature of his/her relations with the abusive family member or if there are other cases of conflict of interests; it shall also be inadmissible to communicate or hand over to such person the testimony (interview report, explanations) given by the minor.
The obligation to apply to the relevant authorities for identifying (primary identification) and responding to domestic violence against minors (children) shall rest with medical institutions, childcare and educational institutions, LEPL Social Service Agency, the guardianship and custodianship authorities, and their authorized personnel, as well as other relevant institutions and their authorized personnel involved in child protection referral procedures provided by the legislation of Georgia.
The state provides a shelter offering psycho-social rehabilitation, legal aid, and medical assistance for domestic violence victims and victims of violence against women.
There is also a crisis center - a place for temporary accommodation of alleged victims and victims of domestic violence, which is intended for psychological and social rehabilitation, primary and emergency medical aid and legal assistance.
It is also possible for the victim to stay at his/her place of residence and for the abuser to be temporarily removed from the place of residence of the victim, even if the place is owned by the abuser.
If you have been a victim of violence against women and/or domestic violence or have information regarding violence, please call the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking on the 24-hour Hotline: +995 32 116 006 or 112