Human Rights NGO shocked at public statements on domestic violence

We are concerned at recent statements concerning domestic violence in Malta, as published in the local media.  The statements seemed to imply that domestic violence could often be attributed to some form of provocation from the victim, leading to a minimisation of what is in fact a very serious violation of a person’s physical and psychological integrity.

Whilst we appreciate the need to view each case on its own individual merits, such generalised public statements that are, and cannot be, backed by credible research do nothing towards effectively combating domestic violence.  On the contrary, they undermine the extremely valuable work being done by the relevant agencies in supporting victims and also in attempting to foster a culture of respect and inviolability of the human person.

In this regard we strongly urge a definitive zero tolerance to all forms of domestic violence, whether physical or psychological, and whether perpetrated against men, women or children.  Anything short of a zero tolerance approach could detract from the responsibility the perpetrators of this violence should rightly be made to face.

According to Dr. Neil Falzon, aditus foundation Director, we need to ensure effective prevention and awareness policies, tough deterrent systems and adequate victim support mechanisms.  A change in popular culture and attitudes is also imperative. aditus further urges relevant stakeholders to make a clear stand on zero tolerance towards any form of domestic violence.