The Malta Independent 4 December 2021, Saturday

2,200 domestic violence victims asked for help from the FSWS in 2020

Thursday, 25 November 2021, 19:02 Last update: about 9 days ago

2,220 domestic violence victims sought help from the Foundation for Social Welfare services, it was announed on Thursday.

The 25th of November marks the initiation of ’16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’, during which several activities regarding the prevention and knowledge on domestic violence, are organised to inform persons who may need such services.

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During a press conference, it was explainde that between 1 January and the end of June, 1889 people have already asked for help from the foundation, meaning that more people are coming forward.

In total last year, 107 aggressors have also sought help when they realised they had a problem;  a number which has increased to 123 until June of this year.

Addressing the press conference, Lydia Abela, the Prime Minister’s wife, reminded that right now there are persons in their homes waiting for their next abusive episode, and that is why they have made it their mission to address the daily challenges such victims face. She added that, although in the last few months Malta has continued to invest in important services that have helped a lot, it is now time to focus on preventing domestic violence episodes.

Abela said that stopping the problem from its beginning is more important than trying to solve problems that arise after an abusive outburst, since the wounds left from domestic violence run deep.

She added that the fight against domestic violence is one in favour of equality, a value cherished by the Maltese, which if pushed together with the values of love and respect, can guarantee stability for our current and future generation.

Social Solidarity Minister Micheal Falzon said that the ministry is working on establishing and addressing these social issues. Falzon added that in financing NGOs, the ministry is working and establishing the needed care for such victims, where such infrastructures and necessary services are available 24 hours every day. He added that educating young children in domestic violence is key in minimizing cases in the future.

Equality Minister Owen Bonnici also emphasised the importance education has in preventing domestic violence cases.  He said that events like this conference should happen more often, where the main goal is to spread the word that domestic violence is not a life sentence, as there are people and organisations which are ready to help.

Alfred Grixti, Chief Executive of the FSWS, said that the foundation was always first in line in addressing these social problems. During the years it has widened its services to help more people. He added that last year a total of 39 persons together with their children went to ‘Ghabex’ - a shelter that accommodates people in need when they ask for help. This year, until June, a total of 18 victims have already made use of this shelter.

 

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