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. The increase in service users documented for this year may therefore partly be attributed to these changes.
• Dar Santa Bakhita: A second stage shelter providing accomodation 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 includes 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 6) 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 – 6): 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.
• Domestic Violence Unit (Map 1): Number of cases registered by victim’s location of residence per 1,000 mid-year resident population.
• Police data (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