Three mothers with children who are victims of domestic violence will be given shelter for twelve months at Santa Bakhita House in Balzan – the second shelter inaugurated and run by the foundation Merhba Bik and the Good Shepherd sisters.
Elaine Pavia who runs the house said that these women have already been given first aid at Dar Merhba Bik, but are still not in a position to live alone. She said the most difficult challenge for abused people was to overcome the psychological and financial dependence on those who were abusing them.
For this purpose the women will be seen by professionals to help boost their skills.
“This has long been a dream of mine which took off after I had a meeting with mission partners together with the nuns where I mentioned that as a foundation we should take a further step and the sisters immediately welcomed my idea. ”
The Commissioner responsible for domestic violence, Simone Cini, said that Maltese law was among the most advanced in Europe but without a change in mentality, victims would continue to be victimized.
“It’s far easier to introduce a law than it is to change a culture … which is why we also work on public awareness and we always maintain that the problem of domestic violence is a social scourge and each one of us is adversely affected. ”
Minister of the Family Michael Falzon said that the institutions concerned were being given the tools to ensure that laws were being implemented. The government had allocated eight hundred thousand euros to the Dar Merhba Bik foundation for a period of three years, to be able to carry out its work.