National Research on Domestic Violence Against Women in Georgia

The Research on Domestic Violence against Women in Georgia was conducted within the framework of the Government of Norway and UNFPA co-funded "Combating the Gender-based Violence in the South Caucasus" project in 2009.

Implementing partners of the research were the ACT Research and the Centre for Social Science at the I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNFPA and Government of Norway.

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Executive Summary

In 2009 United Nations population Fund (UNFPA) commissioned the nationwide survey on Domestic Violence against Women in Georgia within the frames of the UNFPA implemented project "Combating Gender Based Violence in South Caucasus"(GBV-SC). GBV-SC project is a regional, multi-pronged initiative supported by the Norwegian government and co-funded by UNFPA implemented in the three South Caucasus Countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Main objective of the project is to contribute to the national response to domestic violence and strengthen the democratic governance in the three countries by promoting the respect for human rights, gender equality and women's participation.

Gender-based violence is regarded as one of the forms of violating human rights. Domestic violence is a global phenomenon without national, economic, religious, geographic and cultural borders. Violence on woman is mostly performed in her direct social environment affecting the physical and mental health of the woman. Violence has negative consequences for social welfare, children, families and community. Domestic violence restricts the woman's right to be involved in social life.

According to the annual data of Global Economic Forum, Georgia occupies 84th position by gender gap index among 134 world countries: by economic contribution and capacity, Georgia is on the 55th position, by education level -82, health and life expactancy - 131 and political empowerment opportunities - 103.

UNFPA had aimed to support formulation of effective GBV/DV response policies and contribute to establishing effective mechanisms for better implementation of international treaties on elimination of violence against women, to which Georgia is a signatory. For this purpose, UNFPA carried out a nationwide survey to study the forms of domestic violence against women as well as prevalence, causes and consequences of violence countrywide. The overall aim was to use research findings as a baseline for formulating national policies and plans to combat domestic violence and establish greater gender equality in Georgia.

Thematic studies on the issues of domestic violence had been conducted in Georgia a number of times. There are two national surveys (in 1999 and 2005) on reproductive health, which also include the topic of domestic violence. Neverthless there was a clear need for a national survey project which one the one hand would, generate information on prevalence of gender-based violence, its forms and intensivity, attitudes and perceptions, personal and social history of violence, mechanisms for combating domestic violence and on the other hand, would enable making comparison of the social picture of Georgia with the data of international studies. The presented Nationwide Survey on Domestic Violence against Women in Georgia is the first comprehensive survey carried out on the subject of domestic violence against women in the country and it has the biggest sample, which provides information on urban and rural settlements all over Georgia. The survey combines quantitative and qualitative approach in exploring the causes and consequences of domestic violence, as well as perceptions and attitudes of women on domestic violence; this is the first survey collecting data on physical and sexual violence for under-aged group of women, as well as sexual abuse by perpetrators other than husbands and family members. The survey is the first base-line study on the issue. The nationwide survey was conducted using mixed methodology quantitative and qualitative components and overall 2391 women were interviewed age 15-49 within the quantitative component; qualitative component comprised 14 focus groups, 34 in-depth interviews and 2 participant observations.