A number of NGOs have come together and issued a statement, airing their disappointment over hearing that no police action has been taken against “the visible and identifiable aggressor that intentionally went in a rage to attack his partner at her place of work.” The police however, denied this situation arguing that charges were issued against the identified aggressor.
A video which had emerged on social media, first posted on the Sliema Residents Facebook group, had caused public concern over an incident where a man broke through a shop door on Bisazza street. The police said the incident was related to a domestic dispute, that no injuries were reported and that none of the involved parties wished to file a report.
The NGOs, early in the day, said: “May we reiterate that domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, is a criminal offence that need not rely on the complaint of the injured party. When brought to the attention, authorities have the obligation to exercise due diligence, investigate and take the necessary criminal action. No complaint from the injured party is required in such cases.”
“Time and time again we hear of women complaining about how the police have refused to take their report, failed to investigate and/or never issued charges pertaining to their case. Given the lack of action in this case, when there is clear evidence of domestic violence, confirms further their stories.”
Domestic violence is not a private matter, the NGOs said, “but it is a matter of public concern and an offence against each and everyone of us. Shrugging off the matter by simply claiming that no one came forward or was reluctant to speak, does not suffice. Malta is bound by legal standards and is responsible for its failure to protect.”
“We call on the authorities to investigate and take action with immediate effect, failure of which, we call on government to investigate and publicly explain why the respectiveauthorities have failed to take such action.”
The statement was issued by the Association for Equality, Dar Merhba Bik Foundation, FondazzjoniSebh, Malta Confederation of Women Organisations, Malta Association of Women in Business, Men Against Violence, St. Jeanne Antide Foundation, Women’s Rights Foundation.
The police, in a statement of their own, denied not taking any action on this case.
The statement read that on the 25 of February, district police officers assisted by members of the Rapid Intervention Unit, reported on the domestic violence report. The police said that from preliminary investigations, it resulted that a domestic violence crime occurred inside the business, where the owner of the business did not wish to take any legal action against the aggressor over the minor damage done to the property, while the victim of domestic violence did not want to cooperate with the police and did not want to identify the aggressor.
Following an investigation, the aggressor was identified, and charges were issued against him, the police said.
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