Reports of domestic violence on the rise
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Reports of domestic violence on the rise

'The majority of offenders still get away with impunity'

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

The police received 1,272 domestic violence reports in 2016, official figures show, as the upward trend in reporting such crimes, noted in previous years, continued.

Ten years ago, the figure stood at just 116.

According to Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela, who tabled the data in Parliament earlier this week, all the offenders were taken to court.

Yet while there seems to be a yearly increase in domestic violence cases, Roberta Lepre, director of Victim Support Malta, still believes “the majority of offenders get away with impunity”.

“This is disheartening for victims, as well as for the police, who invest substantial time and energy to prosecute these cases and deal with repeat offenders,” Dr Lepre told the Times of Malta yesterday.

Offender impunity is disheartening for victims and police

Data tabled in Parliament earlier this week showed last year, the majority of victims who filed reports to the police had suffered psychological harm (577 cases) and slight bodily harm through physical force (579 cases). In 2015, there were 1,205 cases reported, up from 1046 in 2014.

There were 37 cases of stalking reported to the police and 33 cases of slight bodily harm through the use of “irregular weapons”.

Another 31 reports were filed by victims of serious bodily harm caused by physical force.

The remainder of the cases were related to serious injuries caused by weapons, the data showed.

The Home Affairs Minister said that as no electronic records were kept, it was not possible to supply a breakdown of the sex of the people involved or their nationality.

According to Dr Lepre, while the figures reflected the trends noted by VSM, they failed to highlight how many offenders were found guilty, what punishments were imposed, how many protection and treatment orders were issued and the  crimes committed by repeat offenders.

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