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WISG’s Advocacy Helps Make National Forensics Bureau More Sensitive to Victims of Sexual Violence

27 January 2021 WISG’s Advocacy Helps Make National Forensics Bureau More Sensitive  to Victims of Sexual Violence

Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), funded by USAID/PROLoG, applied to the Public Defender of Georgia to protect the interests of a victim of sexual violence at the Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau. The woman was sent to the Bureau for forensic medical examination, where she was reportedly subjected to sexual harassment and abuse from male experts.

The evidence presented during the proceedings did not confirm sexual harassment, but it revealed that the Bureau did have very few female experts, especially in the regions. The PDO established indirect discrimination based on sex and recommended the Bureau hire female experts, as the applicant had to twice undergo the expertise by male experts, since there were no female experts available. The PDO stated that forcing a sexual violence survivor to be examined by a representative of a different sex is gender insensitive. The PDO further recommended that the Bureau provide comprehensive information to experts on appropriate communication with survivors of sexual violence.

According to the PDO, the Bureau expressed readiness to follow the recommendation and create a more dignified environment for female victims of sexual violence, by employing female experts in the regional forensic departments and training the staff of all offices on better communication with victims of sexual violence.

USAID
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