The signs of Domestic Abuse and how to seek help in Malta

Being a woman in Malta is an uphill struggle – a fact that is shown time and time again on a daily basis. Between being catcalled and harassed by random strangers on the street, and on public transport, social media bullies, trolls that go after female commentators and make a complete mockery out of all that they believe and fight for.

This is by no means an easy subject to talk about. No one chooses this path for themselves … it creeps up on you, without you even noticing before it’s too late, at times.

It comes in so many different ways and forms. You might think to yourself, ‘U le, it’s nothing’, when in actual fact, it’s more than enough reason to have reach out for help.

We need to keep in mind, at all times, that mistreatment and violence is never an answer. It might not be easy to come to terms with the fact that you need help, but it is oh so important that you do, and here are some pointers to help you see if you need to seek help, and how to go about doing it.

Forms of Domestic Violence

PHYSICAL ABUSE

It can be anything from a “slap on the face” to sexual abuse, all the way to manslaughter, attempted murder and murder.

It includes any form of abuse, such as pushing, kicking, pulling the victim’s hair, burning and wounding the victim with weapons.

This may cause injuries such as bruises, contusions, lacerations, teeth knocked out, fractures or cuts.

Women, who are being abused by violent partners also during pregnancy, may result in complications or miscarriage.

EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE

This is most commonly seen in the form of isolation from friends, family and other supportive social networks.

Threats, bullying and intimidation, Insults, humiliation, defamation. Someone who makes you feel like you’re not good enough, constantly threatens to leave you unless you do what they say, threatens to hurt you, themselves or others if you leave.

SEXUAL ABUSE

This kind of abuse is demonstrated through threats of or actual physical intrusion of a sexual nature, be it by force or coercive conditions.

This includes, but not limited to: attempted or committed rape, any forced and non-consensual sexual act, as well as sexual behaviour that the victim finds humiliating and degrading.

ECONOMIC ABUSE

It’s a form of abuse, where one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to financial resources. It diminishes the victim’s capacity to support themselves and forces them to depend on the abuser. It’s about financially controlling or withholding your money, preventing you from working or studying, stealing from you.

SEEKING HELP

If you or anyone you know relate to these signs and feel like you should seek help, if only ask for advice about your current situation and explore your options, please do not hesitate to call Malta’s Domestic abuse helpline – 179.

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