One of the main functions of the Legal Aid Service is the prevention of domestic violence and protection of the social rights of the victims of domestic violence.
Legal Aid Service proposes to the victims of domestic violence free legal consultations for the protection of their rights. They obtain face to face as well as telephone/online consultation. Legal Aid Service provides free legal representation to the victims of domestic violence only in case if the person is socially vulnerable.
Domestic violence implies the violation of constitutional rights and freedoms of the other family member by means of neglect or physical, psychological, economic, sexual abuse or duress.
Legislation of Georgia provides quite extensive enumeration of family members. Namely, for the purposes of domestic violence, family members shall be considered mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, a spouse, son/daughter (stepson/stepdaughter), adopted son/daughter, adoptive parent, a spouse of an adoptive parent, foster son/daughter, foster family (foster mother/father), grandson/granddaughter, sister, brother, parents in-laws, son in-law, daughter in-law, ex-spouse, common-law spouses and their family members, a guardian (supporter), also persons who are permanently carrying out or have been maintaining common family household. Also persons, with whom a juvenile resides/finds himself based on a legal act or civil legal contract, while the obligation of care and protection of legal interest has been assigned to this person based on the same legal act or civil legal contract.
Following forms of violence exist:
Physical violence: battering, torture, damage to health, illegal deprivation of freedom or any other act which inflicts physical pain or suffering; preventing a family member from healthcare which may cause damage to health or death of the latter;
Psychological violence: abuse, blackmail, intimidation or any other action which is deemed as degrading and inhuman treatment;
Economic violence: any act that restricts one’s right to food, accommodation and other conditions for normal development, as well as property and labor rights including shared property and management of one’s shared of property.
Sexual violence: coercive sexual intercourse, under duress or misusing vulnerability of victims; sexual intercourse or any other act of sexual nature, or immoral act against minors.
Harassment: physical or psychological coercion over an individual so that s/he undertakes an action or refrains from it while a decision whether or not to undertake the specific action should be his/her discretion, or experience effects of non-consensual actions
Neglect: failure to meet the child’s basic physical and psychological needs by the parent and/or legal guardian, restriction of the child’s right to basic education, failure to provide basic protection from threats, and failure to undertake necessary actions for registration of birth or ensuring access to medical and other services while the parent and/or the legal guardian has relevant information, opportunity and access to such services.
During the domestic violence, the perpetrator is the person who carries out the violence, while the victim is the person who is subjected to violence.
The legislation in force envisages criminal, civil-legal and administrative-legal mechanisms to identify and prevent crimes of domestic violence.
Criminal legal mechanisms envisage the start of the criminal prosecution against the violator on an alleged fact of violence, which may result in imprisonment.
Civil legal mechanisms imply the right of the victim to claim compensation of material and non material damages, inflicted from the violence of the perpetrator.
Administrative legal mechanisms envisage the restriction or prohibition of certain actions of the perpetrator, which is implemented through restraining and protective orders.
Restraining order is an act issued by an authorized police officer to determine interim measures for the protection of a victim of domestic violence and which is submitted/sent within 24 hours to the victim and perpetrator and one copy remains with the issuing agency. The victim or perpetrator may lodge a complaint against restraining order within 3 days from its receipt. The restraining order is effective for the period of 1 month.
Protective order is an act issued by the first instance court (a judge) in an administrative order, which lays down interim measures for the protection of victims of domestic violence. Victim of domestic violence as well as family member and/or another person, who provides medical, legal or psychological services to the victim and in case of minor – the guardianship and curatorship bodies upon the consent of the victim have the right to apply to the court for the issuance of protective order. Protective order is effective withing 6 months from its issuance.
The Crisis Center is an institution place of temporary placement of alleged victims of domestic violence, which serves to psycho-social rehabilitation, basic and emergency medical care and legal counseling
It is also possible to allow the victim to stay in her/his place of residence and remove the perpetrator from the premises, even if he/she is the owner of those premises.
Together with the public agencies defined by the law (Relevant bodies of Ministry of Interior, investigative agencies, court), the attribution of the status of the victim is ensured by victim identification group, if no procedure for issuance of restraining or protective order are ongoing or no criminal prosecution on domestic violence is conducted. The status of the victim given by the victim identification group is effective for 18 months, and if the victim is placed in the shelter, it is effective during the period of placement in the shelter defined by the law.
If you are the victim of domestic violence or possess any information about domestic violence, please within 24 hours call through the hotline for victims of domestic violence at the State Fund for the Protection and Assistance of Victims of Human Trafficking and other victims: +995 32 116 006 or 112
Scope of Service
Lega Aid Service provides free legal services to the victims of domestic violence
Legal Aid Service also ensures free legal document drafting and lawyer representation (court representation), if the victim is insolvent.
A person is considered to be insolvent and entitled to use legal services on state’s expense if he/she is a member of a family registered in the unified database of socially vulnerable families, whose socioeconomic index is equal or below 70 000.
In addition, person is considered to be insolvent and has right to use the legal services on the state’s expense in case he/she is a member of a family registered in the unified database of socially vulnerable families, whose socioeconomic index is equal or below 100 000 and belongs to one of the categories listed below:
The legal services can be provided in special circumstances to those people who are not registered in the unified database of socially vulnerable families but due to difficult social-economical condition cannot afford to cover the expenses of legal assistance. This is regulated by the Decision #27 of the Legal Aid Service Board adopted on September 9, 2015. This condition applies to the persons who belong to the following categories: