News Releases

Domestic Violence: 2021
NR069/2023
Release Date: 25 April 2023
  • In 2021, 3,295 individuals made use of the different services available to those experiencing domestic violence.
  • When compared to 2020, persons making use of such services during the reference year increased by 12.9 per cent in 2021.
  • Of the persons making use of services offered to persons experiencing domestic violence, 78.9 per cent were females.
  • During 2021, 171 persons made use of services available for perpetrators.
Domestic Violence: 2021
NR069/2023
Release Date: 25 April 2023
In 2021, 3,295 persons experiencing domestic violence made use of services available within this area. Of these, 78.9 per cent were females.

When compared to 2019, the number of persons using services for support on domestic violence increased by 28.5 per cent, from 2,565 to 3,295 (Table 1, Chart 1).

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

Reference period: 2019-2021

No Data Found

Note: Figures refer to the total number of individual persons making use of at least one service during the reference period (refer to Table 1; methodological note 3 and 5).

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 2021, as in previous years, the main services used by persons experiencing domestic violence were the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) within Aġenzija Appoġġ (2,461 registered cases) and the Police Department (1,918 individual reports).

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: 2021

No Data Found

1Shelters include Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Għabex, and Il-Milja. Refer to methodological note 1.
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. Figures may not add up due to rounding.

Table 3 breaks down cases registered with domestic violence service providers by age group of the registered service user. In 2021, more than half of the total cases registered across all services involved persons aged between 30 and 49 years old (Chart 2). The majority, 85.3 per cent, were cases involving 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: 2021

No Data Found

1Shelters include Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Għabex, and Il-Milja. Refer to methodological note 1.
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. Figures may not add up due to rounding.

This news release also covers services targeting perpetrators of domestic violence. Data for 2021 includes the ‘Stop!’ programme by Aġenzija Appoġġ and services provided by the Department of Probation and Parole. When looking at the unique number of persons using services targeting perpetrators, 2021 saw a total of 171 individuals using one or more service – 162 were males and 9 were females (Table 6, Chart 4).

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

Reference period: 2021

No Data Found

Note: Domestic violence services targeting perpetrators include the ‘Stop!’ programme at Aġenzija Appoġġ and the Department of Probation and Parole. Refer to methodological note 1.

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): 2021

Map 2. Number of individual cases registered with the Police Department by district of incident (rate per 1,000 resident population): 2021

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.

Additional Tables and Charts

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. 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.
 
• Rate:
• 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.
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
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