The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

Commission against Gender Based and Domestic Violence plans better education on the subject

Monday, 10 February 2020, 14:32 Last update: about 15 days ago

The Ministry of Justice, Equality and Governance said in a statement that the Commission against Gender-based and Domestic Violence is planned to better education on the subject at all levels thanks to the newly appointed full-time commissioner.

Audrey Friggieri was appointed as the new Commissioner against Gender Based Violence and Domestic violence yesterday after the resignation of her predecessor Simone Cini.

On Monday, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms Rosianne Cutajar, met with the new Commissioner for Gender-based and Domestic Violence Audrey Friggieri in order to discuss a plan of action for the coming weeks and months.

They explained that this plan of action is focused on increasing education at all levels on the subject, and the strengthening of women's role in society, and her financial independence. Additionally, it tackles the need for cooperation with the Police Executive and the administration of the Court of Justice so that victims or individuals who are the most vulnerable are protected.

The idea of having a full-time Commissioner is said to reflect how there is more investment being made on the structure of the Commission so that it can respond to the tough challenges it faces, the statement read. "In doing so, the government is showing that it is determined to fight against such violence and eliminate this social conundrum."

Domestic violence has been prominent across all media platforms due to the harrowing murder of Chantelle Chetcuti, allegedly by her former partner.

On Tuesday, Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis met with representatives from the Domestic Violence Support and Advocacy Group (SOAR) - a support service offered by NGO St Jeanne Antide Foundation, Women for Women and Moviment Graffitti regarding the issue of domestic violence, just prior to a protest that took place outside of Parliament that same day.

Minister Zammit Lewis said that during the meeting they examined what has been done so far, but said that not enough has been done.

The minister said that the government felt they wanted to open an interface with the NGOs and said that another meeting will take place on 13 February.

He had said that the biggest problem is society, which needs to change the way it thinks, and the way men think about certain things. He said that the government will need help to do this.

Parliamentary Secretary Cutajar said during that meeting that it is clear that the consequences are not enough to deter people from committing such crimes.

Asked about the feedback from the NGOs, the ministers said that it was positive, adding that the government came round the table as it is not resting on its achievements, but wants to prevent there being more victims of domestic violence.



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