The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Ironic to discuss changes to domestic violence while also discussing prostitution laws – PN MP

Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 18:05 Last update: about 26 days ago

It is ironic that we have Minister Helena Dalli trying to implement and improve our laws on domestic violence, whilst her friends in the Prime Minister’s Office are trying to change the prostitution laws to make prostitution seem like is just a normal job, PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said Wednesday.

Speaking in Parliament, Buttigieg said that it is important to highlight the social and psychological damage prostitution has on women. “Women in prostitution need more medical and psychological care due to the trauma they face.”

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She stressed that people need to open their eyes and realise that women in this sector are being treated as meat. “I have heard too many horrible stories of women in our country being mistreated; one particular woman went into labour whilst with a client and her pimp would not let her leave. This is happening in our country.”

She questioned how a law has been passed banning the chaining of dogs yet these women are still being mistreated. She said the government needs to be careful, especially since Malta has already established a ‘low standards reputation’.

She said that domestic violence is not just an issue just for a particular sex or class, but is a problem amongst Maltese society. “If we do not discuss this problem, we will never solve this issue or help these people in a vulnerable situation.”

She stressed that the increase of suicide in men is an issue because as a society we do not discuss these problem, but we turn our cheek the other way. She said that men who face abuse at home or at the workplace on a regular basis do not report it to the police, but instead make the decision to commit suicide.

Buttigieg also mentioned that police are not prepared or well informed on how to work with people suffering from domestic violence. She recounted how many times the police would question and doubt the victim, and not the perpetrator. “We ask the victim what did they do to anger the perpetrator, or what they were wearing, and this is a huge problem, as more women do not feel comfortable to report to the police.”

She expressed that investigations on domestic violence need to be carried out by a superintendent and that, during the time of investigations, the victim can be provided a safe place to reside.

“We are facing a serious problem and we need to have a healthy discussion on domestic and gender violence, and to help these people, and not continue to victimise them even more.”

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