Only One In Three Sexual Assaults Are Reported To The Police In Malta

 

Only one in three victims of sexual assault reported their case to the police in 2021, Times of Malta revealed.

 

 

The Care for Victims of Sexual Assault (CVSA) service, which is run by Victim Support Malta alongside Social Solidarity Ministry, supported 58 victims of sexual assault this year, 53 of whom were women, the head of the agency, Kyra Borg, revealed.

 

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Out of these victims, only 20 took their crime to the police and 18 spoke up years after the abuse occurred. ‘Through our service, we have noticed that many cases go unreported and that many victims are very scared to report.’

 

 

Victims often don’t report due to a number of reasons, some being due to experiencing a deep sense of guilt, shame, fear and re-traumatisation.’, Borg explained. ‘In addition to this, the legal process is a long and thorough one which tends to push victims away from reporting the incident,’.

 

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Earlier this month, a woman spoke up to the Times of Malta about her ordeal. ‘The woman was raped at work in June 2020, metres away from her two terrified daughters, who spent nearly an hour listening to their mother’s agonising screams.’, they wrote.

 

 

Her aggressor was peeled off her by two police officers who answered her call for help. Covered in bruises, with dislodged teeth and ripped hair, she was left incontinent for months and is still dealing with the trauma.’, they continued. However, the woman remarked that investigators only spoke to her briefly about the assault.

 

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In spite of all of the evidence, she said she could not understand why she had not been asked by the officer for her version of events, which left her in a state of suspended trauma. Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà has since said that the police inspector was facing disciplinary action.

 

 

The woman’s lawyer, Women’s Rights Foundation chair Lara Dimitrijevic, said that such an approach resulted in victimizing victims who lived with the trauma.

 

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Several [victims] are not offered support and kept abreast of the investigation of their case. Those who do file a report often find that the case drags on for a long time and they are approached to recount the assault in court months later, reopening the wounds.’ Dimitrijevic said.

 

 

Recent figures issued by the police also show that, between January 2017 and August 2021, they received 600 reports of sexual offences, 104 of which were classified as rape cases.  Several reports may have been filed by the same victim.

 

 

Meanwhile, the NGO’s figures show that two out of three victims are not reporting their case and a third of victims are waiting for years to speak up.

 

 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault or abuse, you can get in touch by contacting Victim Support Malta on +2122 8333 or by sending an email on [email protected]

 

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