NSO: Increase in people seeking domestic violence support services in 2022

The latest data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows that the number of people seeking support services for domestic violence is increasing while the vast majority of victims remain women.

The data, published on Wednesday, shows an increase of 6.2% from 2,919 to 3,100 between 2021 and 2022, with women accounting for 77.2% of requests. Furthermore, 70.1% of users used one service, 21.2% used two and 8.7% used three or more.

The data collected by the NSO for 2022 shows that the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) within Aġenzija Appoġġ received 2,093 registered cases, while the Police Department received 2,046 individual reports from persons experiencing domestic violence.

More than half of the cases registered across all services involved persons aged between 30 and 49 (52.5%). The data also found that 84.4% were cases involving Maltese nationals, while 13.8% were other nationalities.

Various shelters in Malta, including Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Dar Emmaus, Għabex and Il-Milja, dealt with 173 cases during the same timeframe.

The NGO Victim Support Malta also saw 70 cases during the same period, while the emergency health services at Mater Dei Hospital and Gozo General Hospital recorded 69 cases in 2022.

The latest published data continues to reflect the pressing issue of domestic violence in Malta.

This year, a team founded in June that specialises in domestic violence has already dealt with 74 high-risk cases, simultaneously underscoring the ongoing urgency of the issue and the sluggish response by the government.

In its first 55 days of operation, the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Meeting (MARAM) system, which was meant to be set up in 2017, received an equivalent of 1.35 cases per day.

Of these, 63 reports were filed by women. In addition to this, between January and May this year, the police received 798 reports of domestic violence.

Legal professionals who spoke to The Shift described how survivors of domestic violence face waits of more than a year for court proceedings to start due to severe backlogs in cases, some of which are scheduled to begin in 2025, more than a year after being reported.

According to official statistics reported in the Times of Malta, there remains a backlog of cases despite the appointment of a second magistrate to deal with them.

Data and visualisations by the NSO can be viewed here.


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