News Releases

Domestic Violence: 2022
NR219/2023
Release Date: 06 December 2023
Domestic and family violence. Little girl asking for help.
  • In 2022, 3,100 individuals made use of the different services available to those experiencing domestic violence.
  • When compared to 2021, persons making use of such services during the reference year decreased by 5.9 per cent in 2022.
  • Females accounted for 77.2 per cent of persons making use of domestic violence services.
  • During 2022, 268 persons made use of services available for perpetrators.
Domestic Violence: 2022
NR219/2023
Release Date: 06 December 2023
In 2022, 3,100 persons experiencing domestic violence made use of services available within this area. Of these, 77.2 per cent were females.

Domestic and family violence. Little girl asking for help.

Services targeting persons experiencing domestic violence

When compared to 2020, the number of persons using services for support on domestic violence increased by 6.2 per cent, from 2,919 to 3,100. During 2022, 70.1 per cent of the persons making use of such services made use of one service, 21.1 per cent of persons made use of two services, and 8.7 per cent of persons made use of three or more services  (Table 1, Chart 1).

Chart 1. Number of persons using domestic violence services by gender

Reference period: 2020-2022

No Data Found

Notes: 
     1. Figures refer to the total number of individual persons making use of services during the reference period (refer to Table 1; methodological note 3 and 5).
     2. Services included: Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita (2021, 2022), Dar Emmaus (2022), Il-Milja, Domestic Violence Unit (Aġenzija Appoġġ), Victim Support Malta (2021, 2022), Police Department, Għabex, and the Emergency Health services.

Table 2 presents data on cases registered across the different service providers, cases counted within and across services may involve the same person more than once. In 2022, as in previous years, the main services used by persons experiencing domestic violence were the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) within Aġenzija Appoġġ (2,093 registered cases) and the Police Department (2,046 individual reports). Shelters (including Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Dar Emmaus, Għabex and Il-Milja) dealt with 173 cases while the NGO Victim Support Malta saw 70 cases during the year under review. The emergency health services at Mater Dei Hospital and at Gozo General Hospital recorded 69 cases during 2022 (Table 2).

Chart 2. Distribution of individual cases registered with the Police Department and service providers by service and age group of persons experiencing domestic violence

Reference period: 2022

No Data Found

1Shelters include Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Dar Emmaus, Għabex, and Il-Milja. Refer to methodological note 1.
Note: Individual cases are recorded by the service provider each time a person accesses the service during that reference year. Therefore figures include persons making use of services more than once.

Table 3 breaks down cases registered with domestic violence service providers by age group of the registered service user. In 2022, more than half of the total cases registered across all services involved persons aged between 30 and 49 years old (52.5 per cent) (Chart 2). The majority, 84.4 per cent, were cases involving Maltese nationals, while 13.8 per cent were cases involving non-Maltese nationals (Table 4).

Chart 3. Distribution of individual cases registered with the Police Department and service providers by service and broad citizenship of service user

Reference period: 2022

No Data Found

1Shelters include Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Dar Emmaus, Għabex, and Il-Milja. Refer to methodological note 1.
Note: Individual cases are recorded by the service provider each time a person accesses the service during that reference year. Therefore figures include persons making use of services more than once.

Services targeting perpetrators of domestic violence

When looking at the unique number of persons using services targeting perpetrators, 268 individuals used one or more service during 2022 – 245 were males and 23 were females (91.4 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively) (Chart 4). During 2022, the Department of Probation and Parole dealt with 141 cases related to domestic violence, while the Stop! programme saw 100 cases – the majority of cases dealt with by these two services involved persons aged between 30 and 49 years old (64.7 per cent and 68.0 per cent respectively). All the cases seen through the ‘Child To Parent Violence’ service offered by Aġenzija Appoġġ (31 cases) were under 30 years of age (Table 6).

Chart 4. Distribution of persons using services for perpetrators by gender of service user

Reference period: 2022

No Data Found

Note: Domestic violence services targeting perpetrators consist of the ‘Stop!’ programme and the ‘Child To Parent Violence’ service at Aġenzija Appoġġ and the Department of Probation and Parole. Refer to methodological note 1.

Tables

Methodological Notes

1. The sources of data referenced in this news release are:
Aġenzija Appoġġ: The national agency for children and families which promotes their well-being through psycho-social welfare services. Information about both parents and children who make use of the service is recorded. Furthermore, cases of minors receiving child protection interventions by the Child Protection Services offering protection to vulnerable children and adolescents under the age of eighteen years may be recorded as a Child Protection case and not included in this data. In reference year 2019, new legal provisions came into force which impacted operations within the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) at Aġenzija Appoġġ. 
 
• Child to Parent Violence Service: A service offered by Aġenzija Appoġġ, this programme is aimed at children who are abusive towards their parents or primary caregivers. The service aims to bring all members of the family towards the available support services and provide support through social workers or other professionals to address the safety and protection of each family member. Data included from 2022 onwards.
 
• Dar Santa Bakhita: A second stage shelter providing accommodation and assistance to women and children who have experienced domestic or gender-based violence. Data on children accompanying their guardians and using this service is not available and only data on adult users is provided. Data included from 2021 onwards.
 
Dar Merħba Bik: A shelter that works with and helps women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Data on children accompanying their guardians and using this service is not available and only data on adults is provided.
 
•  Dar Emmaus: A residential shelter for victims of domestic violence in Gozo. The shelter also caters to families and homeless persons who are in need of support. It aims to provide individualised support services, helping users deal with any applicable social issues. Data included from 2022 onwards.
 
Il-Milja: Formally known as Dar Qalb ta’ Ġesu, Il-Milja is a second stage shelter which supports and helps women and children with independent living after suffering domestic violence. Data on children accompanying their guardians and using this service is not available and only data on adults is provided. Data included from 2017 onwards.
 
Department of Probation and Parole (DPP): The DPP offers a service within the criminal justice system and works in collaboration with the Judiciary, Police, various agencies and Government departments, amongst others. The DPP aims at enhancing community safety by reducing recidivism through the implementation of restorative justice measures and the use of community-based sanctions such as probation and parole.
 
Emergency Health Services: Data on patient injuries is collected and provided by emergency departments across Malta and Gozo. This includes information from Mater Dei Hospital and Gozo General Hospital and excludes Primary Health Care, private hospitals/clinics and private health practitioners.
 
Għabex: An emergency shelter for women and children experiencing violence within the family, in intimate relationships or from human trafficking. Both adults and children who attend the shelter are recorded as separate service users.
 
Stop!: This service, previously known as the Managing Abusive Behaviour Service, is offered by Aġenzija Appoġġ. This is a service set up to assist the abusive partner in intimate relationships to become aware of, understand and change their behaviour.
 
Police Department: The Malta Police Force statistics section collects and provides data on all reports of domestic violence that have been made with them and registered in the National Police System (NPS). Individuals, including children, involved in a domestic violence report are recorded as separate victims. Data is recorded by the Police Department based on reports registered within the NPS which captures the Police Incident Reporting System (PIRS). This system collects information on all police reports filed at police districts and stations throughout Malta and Gozo. The system records cases based on the main crime category of the report, i.e. the crime that is associated with the gravest penalty as established by relative legislation.
 
Victim Support Malta: A non-governmental organisation which provides support and assistance to victims of crime. Information provided in this regard covers those persons benefiting from services provided by Victim Support Malta for reasons of domestic violence. Currently this service is provided to persons experiencing domestic violence and aged 18 and over. Some of the data was not available from VSM for reference year 2020 as further noted in the respective tables.
 
2. Definitions of the types of violence:
 
Physical: Any act which causes physical harm as a result of unlawful physical force such as bodily harm or deprivation of liberty, as described in Articles 214-222 and 251 of Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta.
 
Psychological: Any act which causes psychological harm to an individual such as coercion or harassment, as described in Article 251 of Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta.
 
Sexual: Any sexual act performed on an individual without their consent such as rape or sexual assault, as described in Articles 198-209 of Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta.
 
Economic: Any act or behaviour which causes economic harm to an individual such as restricting access to finances, as described in Article 251 of Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta.
 
Other: Any other act or behaviour, not elsewhere classified and registered with the different service providers in the area. Other forms of violence include stalking, neglect, deprivation of liberty, exploitation and human trafficking.
 
3. Measuring unit:
 
• Persons (Tables 1 and 6): Unique persons who made use of any services in the area during the reference period. Following a harmonisation exercise (refer to methodological note 5) all the cases registered at the Police Department and different service providers are analysed and, in the case of persons making use of services more than once, such persons are counted only once. Figures across reference periods may include persons who have been included as victims or perpetrators during previous years.
 
• Cases (Tables 2 – 5): All individual cases registered at the respective service within the reference period. Persons who make use of the services may be counted more than once within or across services.
 
• Rate:
• Domestic Violence Unit (Map 1): Number of cases registered by victim’s location of residence per 1,000 mid-year resident population.
• Police report (Map 2): Number of cases registered by location where incident occurred per 1,000 mid-year resident population.
 
4. Coverage: Data within this news release is produced in calendar years, i.e. from the 1st January to the 31st December.
 
5. Harmonisation: To compute the total number of persons experiencing domestic violence, the data provided from the different stakeholders is analysed and harmonised to identify unique persons who have been found to make use of one or more services in the area of domestic violence during the year under review.
 
6. Confidentiality: As with all the data collected and processed by the NSO, data is governed by the provisions of the Malta Statistics Authority Act (XXIV of 2000). This Act emphasises both the NSO’s right to collect and process private and personal information for statistical purposes, while binding the NSO from providing any identifiable information to third parties. To prevent risk of identification from the data, counts of less than 3 are suppressed and denoted by a ‘c‘.
 
7. The National Statistics Office collaborates with the Commission for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence in collecting, analysing and stream-lining data collections in the area of domestic violence and gender-based violence. This is done in line with the Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence Act (Chapter 581 of the Laws of Malta).
 
8. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
 
9. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
Map REgions
Southern Harbour:
Bormla; Il-Fgura; Floriana; Ħal Luqa; Ħaż-Żabbar; Il-Kalkara; Il-Marsa; Raħal Ġdid; Santa Luċija; L-Isla; Ħal Tarxien; Valletta; Il-Birgu; Ix-Xgħajra.
 
Northern Harbour
Birkirkara; Il-Gżira; Ħal Qormi; Il-Ħamrun; L-Imsida; Pembroke; San Ġwann; Santa Venera; San Ġiljan; Is-Swieqi; Ta’ Xbiex; Tal-Pietà; Tas-Sliema.
 
South Eastern Birżebbuġa; Il-Gudja; Ħal Għaxaq; Ħal Kirkop; Ħal Safi; Marsaskala; Marsaxlokk; L-Imqabba; Il-Qrendi; Iz-Żejtun; iz-Żurrieq.
 
Western Ħad-Dingli; Ħal Balzan; Ħal Lija; Ħ’Attard; Ħaż-Żebbuġ; L-Iklin; L-Imdina; L-Imtarfa; Ir-Rabat; Is-Siġġiewi.
 
Northern Ħal Għargħur; Il-Mellieħa; L-Imġarr; Il-Mosta; In-Naxxar; San Pawl Il-Baħar .
 
Gozo and Comino Il-Fontana; Għajnsielem and Comino; L-Għarb; L-Għasri; Il-Munxar; In-Nadur; Il-Qala; San Lawrenz; Ta’ Kerċem; Ta’ Sannat; Ir-Rabat; Ix-Xagħra; Ix-Xewkija; Iż-Żebbuġ.
Key
1 Valletta 18 Il-Furjana 35 Marsaskala 52 San Ġiljan
2 L-Imdina 19 Il-Fontana 36 Marsaxlokk 53 San Ġwann
3 Il-Birgu 20 Il-Gudja 37 Il-Mellieħa 54 San Lawrenz
4 L-Isla 21 Il-Gżira 38 L-Imġarr 55 San Pawl Il-Baħar
5 Bormla 22 Għajnsielem and Comino 39 Il-Mosta 56 Ta' Sannat
6 Ħal Qormi 23 L-Għarb 40 L-Imqabba 57 Santa Luċija
7 Ħaż-Żebbuġ 24 Ħal Għargħur 41 L-Imsida 58 Santa Venera
8 Ħaż-Żabbar 25 L-Għasri 42 Il-Munxar 59 Tas-Sliema
9 Is-Siġġiewi 26 Ħal Għaxaq 43 In-Nadur 60 Is-Swieqi
10 Iż-Żejtun 27 Il-Ħamrun 44 In-Naxxar 61 Ta' Xbiex
11 Ir-Rabat, Għawdex 28 L-Iklin 45 Raħal Ġdid 62 Ħal Tarxien
12 Ħ'Attard 29 Il-Kalkara 46 Pembroke 63 Ix-Xagħra
13 Ħal Balzan 30 Ta' Kerċem 47 Tal-Pieta' 64 Ix-Xewkija
14 Birkirkara 31 Ħal Kirkop 48 Il-Qala 65 Ix-Xgħajra
15 Birżebbuġa 32 Ħal Lija 49 Il-Qrendi 66 Iż-Żebbuġ, Għawdex
16 Ħad-Dingli 33 Ħal Luqa 50 Ir-Rabat, Malta 67 Iż-Żurrieq
17 Il-Fgura 34 Il-Marsa 51 Ħal Safi 68 L-Imtarfa

Map 1. Number of individual cases registered with the Domestic Violence Unit at Aġenzija Appoġġ by district of residence of service user (rate per 1,000 resident population): 2022

Map 2. Number of individual cases registered with the Police Department by district of incident (rate per 1,000 resident population): 2022

Notes:
1. Individual cases are recorded by the service provider each time a person accesses the service during that reference year. Therefore figures include persons making use of services more than once.
2. Data recorded by the Domestic Violence Unit at Aġenzija Appoġġ includes the district of residence of the service user.
3. Data recorded by the Police Department includes the district of incident reported.
4. Rates are based on mid-year population estimates which may be subject to revision.

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