Malta’s new domestic violence unit has received 63 reports since its opening in October, nearly five cases a day, Inspector Eman Hayman told TVM.
Out of these, eight investigations have been formally opened, meaning a police inspector is assigned to open a criminal case against the accused.
From this month, all gender-based and domestic violence reports are being tackled by the specialised squad at the Anti-Gender And Domestic Violence Unit. It is manned by a team of professional social workers to offer support to victims, who can refer certain cases to the police to take action.
In August, newly appointed Police Commissioner Gafa’ had also announced the introduction of a virtual reality simulator at Ta’ Kandja academy to train officers on empathising with domestic violence victims.
These reforms were introduced to face Malta’s worrying rates of domestic violence, with reports of on a constant rise since the beginning of the decade. Last year saw 1,325 reports, roughly four cases every single day. Meanwhile, 2020 has already beaten that record by 15%.
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