Getting to grips with the increasing social problem of domestic violence

By its very nature domestic violence is largely a hidden problem and often not reported. Traditionally this abuse was regarded as being of a private and family nature. This perception however has now changed and has changed so much that nowadays it is regarded as a social problem that is affecting a substantial part of society.

The National Verification Office has performed an Performance Audit audit to analyse the Government’s role in addressing domestic violence and because of the sensitive nature of the problem seven different Government entities involved were analyzed for their principle role in dealing with this sector’s problems.

The entities were the Commission for Domestic Violence, the Appogg Agency, the Police, the Courts, the Probation and Parole Department Probation and Parole, the Health Department and the Education Directorate.

An identified major shortcoming was that of lack of cooperation between all the agencies involved although some did have bilateral cooperation mechanisms.Another major shortcoming wsa that of lack of resources at the disposition of these agencies, a problem that was giving rise to great concern.

A further analyzed shortcoming was the lack of electronic information facilities and the upkeep of such facilities to enable easy access. This and the other shortcomings made it difficult to quantify the extent of domestic violence and created difficult obstacles in an already difficult and complicated sphere.

The whole report can be accessed on the National Verification Office website http://www.nao.gov.mt