The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

'1 in 3 women suffered beating or some other form of abuse worldwide'

Malta Independent Monday, 14 April 2014, 10:35 Last update: about 6 years ago

One in three women has suffered a beating or some form of abuse worldwide, according to Amnesty International.

This was highlighted by Minister for Social Dialogue, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Affairs Helena Dalli this morning during the launch of an EU co-funded project entitled ‘Forms of Violence in Malta: A Gender Perspective’, held at the Excelsior Hotel in Floriana.

Addressing the launch of the project this morning, Dr Dalli said that the government is relaying a message of zero tolerance against women and girls, referring to its call for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

“Violence against women is a violation of human rights that cannot be justified by any political, religious, or cultural claim,” she highlighted.

Dr Dalli said that during the above-mentioned conference, she had highlighted the government’s commitment to further prevent or curb violence against women, and its intention to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence commonly known as the Istanbul Convention.

The first reading for the ratification of this convention was made in the Maltese Parliament last March.

“Today’s launch by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality marks another step forward in the government’s commitment to combat all forms of violence amongst women,” she said

The Commissioner of NCPE, Renee Laiviera, spoke of a set of initiatives aimed at raising further awareness on different forms of violence on women and girls. Through these initiatives, NCPE is committed to further spread the message on zero tolerance to violence against women and girls, provide further information to policy- makers on the current situation on violence on women and girls, to sensitise professionals who work with victims or perpetrators of such violence, to further encourage victims of violence to take action, while also raising awareness and disseminate more information on female genital mutilation (FGM).

Therese Spiteri, NCPE’s manager, said that information which will emerge from research will also be published and used in awareness campaigns, while pointing out that a video campaign to raise awareness whose theme will be ‘Zero tolerance to violence’, will also be launched.

Shadow minister Claudette Buttigieg, who was present during the launch, noted that it is essential that members of the Police Corps are given training on how to best tackle such situations when they are confronted with them, since it results, from a string of interviews held with domestic violence victims, that the police lack expertise in this field.

Citing an example of what emerged from the string of "shocking" interviews, Ms Buttigieg said that one of the victims said that when she reported her case to the police, her statement was taken down on a piece of paper which got lost by the time the case was presented in court, leading to a lack of evidence related to the case.

She also said that the law courts, referring to certain legal aides, have at times encouraged victims of violence not to go through the hassle of taking their aggressor up to court.

A study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) carried out among women from the 28 EU Member States and launched during a conference last month, has shown that domestic violence and specifically gender-based violence disproportionately affects women.

Malta is no exception too. The FRA survey found that in Malta, 20% of the respondents experienced sexual harassment in the previous 12 months while eight per cent of the Maltese respondents went through cyber harassment since the age of 15.

Dr Dalli said that during the above-mentioned conference, she had highlighted the government’s commitment to further prevent or curb violence against women, and its intention to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence commonly known as the Istanbul Convention.

The first reading for the ratification of this convention was made in the Maltese Parliament last March

“Today’s launch by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality marks another step forward in the government’s commitment to combat all forms of violence amongst women,” she said

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