“No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind. This is why the United States believes gender equality is critical to our shared goals of prosperity, stability and peace, and why investing in women and girls worldwide is critical to U.S. foreign policy,” said Ambassador Ian Kelly quoting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the opening ceremony of a new domestic violence shelter in Kakheti.
The shelter will be operated by Georgia’s State Fund for Protection and Assistance of Victims of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, which procured a facility for the shelter with the support of the Swedish Embassy and UN Women. Renovation of the building was funded jointly by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Section of the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi and U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI). The renovations were managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Once the renovations were completed, the U.S. Embassy donated a majority of furniture and household appliances for the shelter.
This is the first government-owned domestic violence shelter in Kakheti area. Until the opening of this facility, the State Fund had to refer all victims of domestic violence crimes from Kakheti to its Tbilisi and Gori shelters.
For years INL has been providing assistance to Georgian government and law enforcement professionals to increase the country’s capacity to prevent domestic violence crimes. This assistance supports the overall the U.S. State Department’s goal of empowering local organizations to provide effective rehabilitation services to victims and thus help them to integrate into society as full and accomplished members.