The Government aims to strengthen families with a new legislation on gender-based violence

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli attends a book launch-Aula Magna, Valletta-10-10-17
The understanding of the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality’s work in the field of gender-based violence is that while no two cases of violence are alike, the Government must strive to protect all against it, said Minister Helena Dalli at a book launch ahead of presenting a bill to Parliament which will offer adequate protection and remedies to victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence.
The book, ‘Intervening after violence: therapy for couples and families’, complements how the Ministry tackles domestic violence – through the direct victims and their relatives as well as the perpetrators of domestic violence.
“If we truly seek to eradicate domestic violence and support families, we must understand the root causes and dynamics of such violence and help the perpetrators end such behaviour”.
Minister Dalli explained that by working with various agencies dealing with gender-based violence and domestic violence, the Government is developing common approaches and standard-operating procedures.
Written by Clarissa Sammut Scerri, Arlene Vetere, Angela Abela, and Jan Cooper – four prominent family experts in Europe, the book combines the theoretical and practical perspectives of domestic violence and provides an understanding of the underlying problems in such situations, while assisting professionals in the field and public authorities in forming pragmatic approaches in resolving them.
“In line with the spirit of this book, the Bill and policy that my Ministry drafted aim to strengthen families”, added Minister Helena Dalli.
The book provides insights on the psychology of intimate partner violence, why individuals stay in such relationships and moments of risk of reprisal, and more acute forms of violence.
“As the distinguished authors of this book argue, given the adequate help, families can heal and bounce back from incidents of violence. Throughout my political career, I have witnessed the truth of this principle.” While admitting that this is not the case for every family, Dr Dalli added that, whenever possible, the Government’s mission should be to strengthen the individual within the family unit – which should be the primary support system.