President Zurabishvili says suicide of teen girl after sexual assault 'a tragedy'

  • Public Defender Nino Lomjaria calls for more public involvement in the cases of sexual violence of minors, timely reporting of the crime and creation of a supportive environment for victims. 

Agenda.ge, 13 Feb 2021 - 11:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili stated yesterday that the recent suicide of a 14-year-old girl in the Black Sea town of Kobuleti is ‘a tragedy’. 

Condemning any form of violence, President Zurabishvili said this case is very harmful for her ‘as a president and first of all as a woman’.

The perpetrator should be brought to justice in order not to encourage violence.Our attitude towards such issues should be strict and unambiguous!” the President stated.

The Interior Ministry reported on February 11 that the girl, who committed suicide, had been sexually assaulted. 

Although the family said they had reported on the crime a couple of months ago, the perpetrator, identified as N.T. and born in 1997, was detained only after the girl’s death. 

The interior ministry has released video footage of the detention:

N.T., who knew the girl's age, sexually assaulted her in June and December, 2020, promising to marry her.

However, he later told her he did not have that intention. The girl, who felt humiliated, committed suicide on February 9. 

Accusing the state institutions of negligence and late response women’s rights defenders call for protection of women’s and children’s rights in Georgia. 

Meanwhile, Public Defender’s Office 'will examine the responsibility of each state agency for possible delayed or ineffective response to the case'.

This case once again shows that the responsible agencies are not able to respond to the cases of sexual abuse of children in a timely, effective or coordinated manner, which requires an urgent response from the state and implementation of systemic changes", the statement reads. 

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria calls for more public involvement in the cases of sexual violence of minors, timely reporting of the crime and creation of a supportive environment for victims. 

The Office reported as well that in 2018-2019 investigation was terminated into a third of cases of sexual violence against minors, one of the causes of which is lack of evidence, 'which in turn is caused by the delayed investigation and lack of proper communication with juveniles'.

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