Human Rights Center Responds to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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Human Rights Center carries out the project “Supporting Elderly during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Shida Kartli Region.” Within the project volunteers of the organization work on support of those elder, which are assumed as victims of abuse, but they do not wish to apply to the law enforcement bodies to avoid the prosecution of their family members (mainly their children). There are no statistics on the victims of elder abuse in the country.

We have to take into account that transfer of a victim to the shelter is based upon his/her decision. The rehabilitation of the victim is crucial in order he/she does not blame himself/herself. However, most of the elder prefer to continue to live in their own homes. 
According to the current legislation, during a conflict in the family, if necessary, the victim is taken to the shelter. 

The authorities have an obligation to work with the perpetrator, however as a rule, in case of issuing a restraining order against a perpetrator and transferring the victim to the shelter, the representatives of state institutions work only with the victim. Whereas, after leaving the shelter, there is a possibility that the victim will return again to the perpetrator. If the perpetrator has served the sentence, then the relations in the family become even more complicated.
During the recent years, an institution of Community Officer was introduced within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Community officers carry out monitoring of the families with risks of offense. However, this institution is operable only within the capital (Tbilisi).
One of the objectives of the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of Violence against Women and/or Domestic Violence, and the Protection and Support of Victims of such Violence is to ensure the promotion of the measures directed at the alteration of the attitudes of the perpetrators and at the correction of their behavior.  Despite such a provision in the Law, there are no sufficient number of service providing institutions in the country, which ensure the correction of the behavior of the perpetrators, which would prevent the risks of offense in families and significantly reduce the statistics on violence.

In order to decrease the violence against women and/or the domestic violence, beside the protection of the victims, it is crucial that the authorities carry out preventative measures with the alleged perpetrators and risk groups (beyond instituting the prosecution against them) in terms of providing psycho-social education, which would also be a prevention against  the offenses and protect families from conflicts, especially the elder.

Therefore, we call on the Georgian authorities:
  • To establish rehabilitation centers to ensure the measures changing the attitudes and correcting the behavior of the perpetrators.  
  • Develop an action plan to prevent violence against the elder.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs: 
  • To establish effective mechanisms for surveillance of violence against the elder; 
  • To respond adequately to the facts of violence. 
Human Rights Center