About thirty persons are charged with rape in Malta every year. The majority are found guilty by the Maltese Courts. The aggressors’ profile ranges between friends, unknown persons and relatives. The main aim behind this crime remains that of control over the victim and sexual gratification.
A study by the University of Malta indicated that 85% of cases are never reported and the victim ends up suffering in silence.
An entity was set up in 2014 with the aim of assisting victims of sexual violence and abuse through therapy, social services and legal assistance. The entity Care for Victims of Sexual Assault indicated that to date they have offered help to 251 victims. 95% of those seeking help are women, with only 5% being men. On the other hand, all aggressors bar one were men. 27% of rapes are carried out in the home, 18% at workplaces, and only 14% are carried out outside or during some social occasion. The number of cases investigated, followed by charges and sentencing during 2020 dropped when compared to 2019 and 2018.
Inspector Joseph Busuttil explained there could be various reasons for the substantial difference in statistics between one year and another. The Inspector also spoke about the fact that during 2020 the numbers between investigated cases, charges and sentencing do not tally. He admitted that although the Police follow up every charge ending up in their hands, there is always a chance that cases ‘disappearing’ from statistics were not genuine, and the charges are dropped. The Inspector added that unfortunately, false charges have increased in recent times, particularly among youths who might have been influenced by what they see on the media. These charges are also considered as crimes, Inspector Busuttil added, because they can have a drastic impact on the victim’s life.