The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

Indepth: Shelters accepting many foreign women – Commissioner for Domestic Violence Simone Cini

INDEPTH online Friday, 7 December 2018, 12:34 Last update: about 3 days ago

Shelters for victims who have suffered from domestic violence have taken in many foreign women, Commissioner for Gender-Based and Domestic Violence Simone Cini said on Indepth. The reason tends to be that, culturally, certain things would be accepted in their countries of origin.

Cini, a former One TV reporter, was appointed to the position by the Ministry of Equality back in September.

She told The Malta Independent Editor-in-Chief Rachel Attard that one can only wonder what violence these individuals' relatives might be experiencing back in their home countries, adding that they might be forced to keep silent.

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Another issue that has been raising eyebrows on the island is the treatment of victims as they go to their local police stations to report the perpetrator.

The Commissioner insisted that the police cannot send people who report domestic violence home as it is prohibited by law.

She also brought up the fact that the police are not the only entity victims may go to for help, particularly because "nowadays everyone works in a chain - the police work with the social workers and the social workers work with the doctor."

The first port of call could also be Appoġġ, 179, or kellimni.com, which are not obliged to refer victims to the police.

Newer technologies were also discussed, with the example of Norway using ankle bracelets on known abusers being the way to go in the Scandinavian country.

Cini argued that they are always open to examining what is being done abroad, with the intention of making sure they are practical and discussing the implementation of said practices.

"One must not start programmes that are doing more harm than good. Therefore, we must look at countries that are more resourceful than us and see what they are doing, and then take what is working."

 

 


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