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What is the problem?

Across the world, patriarchal structures inform and support legal systems that deny justice to survivors of sexual violence and fail to bring perpetrators to justice. The countries of Eurasia in eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia are no exception. Impunity for sexual violence is further exacerbated by the widespread practice of early and child marriages and bride kidnappings in some parts of the region.

Whilst sexual violence is widespread, talking about it publicly is taboo across much of the region. There is little recognition of the problem, limited understanding of its scale, and justice systems are failing to respond to this crime. Consequently, there is considerable underreporting of sexual violence, and many of the reported cases of sexual violence are not even recorded as such. Sexual violence cases result in conviction in extremely limited circumstances.

What do the laws say? 

Existing laws, procedures, and practices on sexual violence do not comply with international human rights standards. Failures in ensuring a holistic system of preventing and prosecuting sexual violence and providing redress lead to the denial of justice for sexual violence. Addressing sexual violence is key for achieving substantive equality and transformative change for women and girls in the region.

Explore our 2019 report, Roadblocks To Justice: How The Law Is Failing Survivors Of Sexual Violence In Eurasia

What is Equality Now doing about this?

Equality Now is urging governments across the region to change laws, policies, and practices to address sexual violence and provide access to justice for survivors (including bride kidnapping and child marriage). Together with local human rights groups, Equality Now has made submissions to UN Treaty Bodies and Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR). 

Find out more about our work to improve responses to sexual violence in Georgia