Domestic violence discussed in Ministry for Gozo conference

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Domestic violence discussed in Ministry for Gozo conferenceA conference on domestic violence was organised by the Ministry for Gozo as part of the programme of activities in Malta and Gozo, aimed at raising more awareness on the subject.

During her address, the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana pointed out that Malta was one of the first countries to have ratified the Istanbul Convention, with laws here in Malta that are there to protect victims of abuse.

She also stressed that the Government is investing in various services, as well as training for professionals and other people who are frontliners in relation to these cases.

Dr Caruana explained that the difficulty of enforcement remains, where the main problem is the feeling of fear and uncertainty of the victim, and therefore we must increase our efforts to be able to offer them a sense of security, she said.

The Minister continued by saying said that there is also a lot of violence among children, not only as victims, but also as perpetrators, and now we need to find the cause of this anger among children in order to intervene early.

The Domestic Violence Commissioner Joe Gerada, said that domestic violence makes the home an unsafe place – when it should be the very place where people find safety and security.

Gerada added that he appreciates the full commitment of social workers, police, teachers and priests in this area.

He referred to what Nelson Mandela said, “What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Gerada continued by encouraging those present to take concrete action against all forms of abuse.

The Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech, remarked that the home should be a place where everyone feels loved by their family. He added that both the victim and the perpetrators should receive psycho-social assistance to help them in their lives.

Mary Gauci spoke about the services available in Gozo, such as the Social Work Unit within the Ministry for Gozo and the Child Care Development Centre, Triq tal-Ibragg, Victoria, located close to the Gozo General Hospital – telephone 22156630.

This conference was also addressed by Psychotherapist Fr Anton Theuma, the Forensic Psychologist Jeannette Fava Cassar, and Clinical Psychologist and Managing Psychologist Joan Camilleri, the latter two work within the Department of Mental Health.

Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri

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