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A person has been charged in Georgia with attacking a transgender woman because of her gender identity. The Prosecutor’s Office says an investigation into the case revealed that the defendant inflicted injuries on the woman by striking her several times.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the woman was not seriously injured in the attack. The defendant has been released on bail; if found guilty, they could face up to a year in prison.
[Read more about rights of transgender people in Georgia on OC Media: Transgender woman appeals to Tbilisi Court to recognise her gender]
There are no official statistics about violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Keti Bakhtadze, a lawyer from local women’s rights group the Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), says that lack of such data makes it impossible for the state to plan preventive mechanisms, such as training or campaigns.
According to a 2017 report by the group, between 1 January and 30 November 2016, of the 150 queer people interviewed, 32% said they had been victims of physical violence and 90% of psychological abuse at least once in the past two years.
According to the same research, ‘the most widespread forms of physical violence were beating, sexual assault, and sexual violence’.
In terms of psychological violence, the most widespread forms reported were humiliating comments, derogatory statements, being ridiculed, threats of spreading rumours, messages of hate speech, and blackmail.
‘Victims often refrain from reporting cases due to a very homo-/transphobic climate in Georgian society, fear of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity being revealed and resulting in reprisals, and lack of support, or even discriminatory attitudes, from the police’, the report reads.
[Read more about queer issues on OC Media: A quest for safe haven — fleeing homophobia to Georgia]