The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Police not taking appropriate action in domestic violence cases - Lara Dimitrijevic

Friday, 14 June 2019, 10:14 Last update: about 2 months ago

Police officers are not taking the appropriate action in cases of domestic violence, lawyer and director of Malta’s Women’s Rights Foundation, Lara Dimitrijevic said in a Facebook post today.

She said this is “unacceptable,” noting that clients have told her that they were told by police to come another day to report, or that protection cannot be provided.

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Dimitrijevic also said that she heard a client speaking to a police officer on the phone, who noted that even if a temporary protection order is issued they cannot enforce it because the law does not state so.

“I cannot explain how heartbreaking it is to have to look into clients’ eyes feeling equally as helpless,” she wrote, adding “This has to stop now! Iz-zejjed kollu zejjed (enough is enough).”

Swedish activist, clean-up organiser and most recently MEP candidate, Cami Appelgren also commented on the post saying that a friend of hers was in a similar situation. This person, Appelgren said, was told she could not report a case of domestic violence because she did not live in the area where she went to report.

Appelgren said this was “misinformation" and that “In Malta, you can file a report at any police station. It does not have to be where you live.”

The person who attempted to make the report decided she or he did not have enough energy to go make the report again, Appelgren noted, saying “… and that’s that. Until someone ends up dead.”

Data tabled in parliament in February 2019 showed that in the year of 2018, 1,341 cases of domestic violence (of both physical and psychological nature) were reported to the authorities.

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