Human Rights Center (HRC) is implementing the Supporting Elderly during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Shida Kartli Region” (Gori, Kareli, Khashuri and Kaspi municipalities). The volunteers involved in the project have interviewed face to face about 300 senior citizens living alone.
The problem of violence towards the elderly has been identified following the interviews. The victims of the alleged violence usually do not apply to law enforcement agencies because:
the elderly are reluctant to cooperate with the police to avoid their family members and relatives who are often their guardians to be arrested.
The elderly do not wish to leave their place of residence and change their abode (and move to a shelter), which is very important because they can hardly adapt to a new social environment which might lead to psychological problems.
We should take into account what the victim actually wishes.
Beyond the issuance of a restraining / protective order, HRC perceives a certain work on the correction of behavior to be carried out with perpetrators as one of the options for preventing the violence. Such work could include some interviews by law enforcement officials with the alleged perpetrators and some practice of monitoring the household situation not with a purpose of launching investigative actions and a criminal prosecution but to interview them through a protocol specially developed for correcting the behavior of perpetrators, and the protocol must be further elaborated following the efficiency of the work conducted with the perpetrator.
The Ministry of Interior has already introduced an institution of Community Officers. The activities of the community officers include inquiries with the households where there are alleged facts of domestic violence. At this stage, it would be appropriate that such a mechanism is operating throughout Georgia, allowing the State to make inquiries with the households of high risk of violence and to actively monitor the families which would reduce the risk of violence and at the same time the instances of criminal liabilities.
Therefore, HRC calls on the authorities:
- To enact in full Article 6(3)(g) 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, which provides for the measures aimed at the correction of attitudes and behaviors of the perpetrators.
- To expand the institute of community officers to all the regions of Georgia, and in order to prevent crimes, to study the situation of families at high risk of violence and to carry out appropriate monitoring.
Human Rights Center