Georgians gather to protest domestic violence killings

Blindfolded and gagged protesters symbolize ignored women in Georgia. Image by Fiqro.

Blindfolded and gagged protesters symbolize ignored women in Georgia. Image by Fiqro.

A group of Georgian protesters have this week gathered outside of the government’s headquarters to raise awareness of the nation’s problem of female deaths by domestic violence.

The protest came after a recent event over the weekend in which Ilia State University lecturer Maka Tsivtsivadze was killed in her workplace by her ex husband in a shocking case of violence that disturbed many Georgians.

Although the recent case of Ms Tsivtsivadze was horrific in its nature it was unfortunately not rare. It was estimated earlier this year that around 23 women have been killed in Georgia in acts of domestic violence, a problem with protesters demand is tackled immediately.

According to them, domestic violence and femicide is a national problem in Georgia and one that authorities are not doing enough to tackle. In response to concerns raised earlier in the year President Giorgi Margvelashvili declared 2015 the ‘year of the woman’, while Prime Minister Itakli Gharibashvili promised to make domestic violence a primary issue. Despite promised however no concrete laws have been changed, leading many activists to be angry at what they see as a lack of political will.

Among the demands raised by the gathered protesters was for Georgian police to better handle complaints by domestic violence victims. Currently it is believed that threats of violence by partners and ex-partners are not taken seriously by law enforcement, a problem which has contributed to assaults, rape and even murder of women in the country.

Georgia remains a largely conservative patriarchal culture and it believed that many women in the country have experienced some form of domestic violence in their lives. Although data on the issue is vague it is thought that domestic violence is still a widespread issue.

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