312 new domestic violence cases in first half of 2019

665 cases of domestic violence were seen by Agenzija Appogg in 2018

File photo
File photo

The Domestic Violence Unit has seen 312 new domestic violence cases in the first half of 2019. The same unit has also been reached again by 74 previous victims and was dealing with 798 ongoing cases from previous years. This means that between January and June 2019, a total of 1,184 domestic violence cases were being worked on by the unit.

According to a report published by Agenzija Appogg this year, the total number of individuals seen by the domestic violence unit in the first half of 2019 stood at 1,167. The unit was set up back in 1994 to provide services to adults who suffer abuse and family and intimate relationships.

In a separate report published by the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) on Friday, the foundation said 665 cases of domestic violence were seen by Agenzija Appogg in 2018, an increase of 158 cases from the previous year. 

The FSWS's 2019 annual report read that such an increase in domestic violence referrals may be a result of the Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence Law, which came into force in May of last year, followed by an awareness campaign. 

In 2018, 55 female victims of Domestic Violence sought shelter at the agency's Ghabex Shelter in Guardamangia. The victims stayed there for a total of 3,428 nights, an average of 62 nights each. The report states that the increase from 2017 is by almost 100%, which reflects the higher amount of referrals in the Domestic Violence Unit, as well as more awareness amongst female victims of emergency shelters.

St Paul's Bay was the town with the highest number of cases worked on by the FSWS in 2018. According to the annual report, St Paul's Bay cases were somewhere between 801 and 960. The Southern Harbour District was the second district with the highest number of cases worked by FSWS in 2018 — 3,506 reported cases in total, with Zabbar having the highest number of reported cases in the district.

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