The Malta Independent 22 September 2020, Tuesday

The reality of domestic violence, during COVID-19

Thursday, 28 May 2020, 14:50 Last update: about 5 months ago

Victim Support Malta, the NGO responsible for supporting victims of crime on the island, together with leading advertising agency TBWA\ANG and inspired by TBWA\Dublin, have launched a powerful campaign about the reality of domestic violence, during COVID-19.

Restrictive measures were implemented to stem the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The impact of these restrictions on victims of domestic violence has been substantial. Many individuals who lived in domestic violence were already highly restricted by abusive partners prior to the pandemic. With people working at home, or with work decreasing, many couples have found themselves spending all of their time together. Whilst this may be challenging in a non-abusive relationship, it is a nightmare for victims of domestic violence.

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Many victims of domestic violence are currently living in a reality, in which they are constantly monitored. This means that perpetrators are aware of who their partners are speaking to, for how long, for what reason. Perpetrators are also likely to limit their partner's ability to contact people outside their household. Even with the relaxation for restriction measures, perpetrators are still likely to control where their partners go, with whom, and for what purpose. This leaves victims at an increased risk of violence.

We have received a substantial amount of calls from women living in domestic violence situations, who have reached out for help and support. Some individuals are able to access support whilst they are at work, or whilst their perpetrators are out of the house. The caveat, is that victims who are the most vulnerable are unable to access the help and support, due to ongoing monitoring.

Our appeal, is for bystanders to take an active stance. At this time, more than ever, we call on neighbours, friends, colleagues, and family members, to report any suspicion of domestic violence to the police. With reports of domestic violence, and domestic violence deaths, surging worldwide, you could very well save a life by doing so.

For more information about this campaign, kindly contact us on [email protected]


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