Why I joined this group

Isotta Rossoni
Posted August 11, 2016 from Malta

Hi everyone. I work for a Maltese NGO supporting victims of crime, through the provision of emotional support, practical assistance and legal information. Most of our clients are women, a large majority of whom are rape survivors or have suffered/are suffering DV. Malta is a tiny island, with a fairly low crime rate. However, lots of crimes go unreported, particularly when they occur within the family unit. This has mostly to do with shame and reputation in a local context where everybody knows each other. Not only does coming out often mean that your neighbours, friends, teachers, boss will become aware of your situation, but it may also mean that the police officers you will talk to are somehow related to one of your family members, or are friends of friends. Moreover, many women who report DV tell us that policemen often dismiss their experiences as exaggerated and overblown.

Although I think that anybody can suffer crime, as international statistics show, women are not only much more likely to be victimised, but also much more likely to be victims of gendered biases within the criminal justice system. This makes it much harder for them to obtain justice; this issue is exacerbated when they are foreign, have an unstable immigration status and cannot rely on a strong support system in the host country.

I would like to hear from others what it's like in their country, and what is being done to fight gender-specific violence. I feel like a lot more needs to be done in terms of education and training, both targeted at the general population, and at officials operating within the criminal justice system. All too often women who suffer rape are blamed for it, and I wonder how much is actually being done to educate people - and unfortunately, this mainly means boys and men - to 'not rape' in the first place. If you have any stories, resources, experiences to share, please get in touch.

Comments 4

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Jessica Foumena
Aug 13, 2016
Aug 13, 2016

Welcome my sister! You joined the right network. I shared your viewpoint for women to have a voice and live in environments that are safe. Keep up the great work. I look forward to know more about your work. Take care.

helen.ng
Aug 14, 2016
Aug 14, 2016

Welcome to the group! I agree with you in that in a majority of the cases, women are often the victims "at fault". As soon as we hear of such atrocities, people generally ask "what were you wearing" or "what were you doing to provoke him", as if women are to blame for male behaviour. Instead of disciplining the perpetrators, society tends to simply lecture women, which does not put a stop to these crimes, and only creates a cycle of fear among females.

I look forward to hearing about your future endeavours.

JANEKALU
Aug 14, 2016
Aug 14, 2016

Hi Isottarossoni, you are really welcome to this group. I know your presence in this group, is going to increase your impart in your organization and also give us more opportunities to learn from what you are doing.

Thanks

Jane Kalu

www.gwandgei.com.

Sherna Alexander Benjamin
Sep 15, 2016
Sep 15, 2016

Dear ISOTTAROSSONI,

What a touching piece, women experience abuse and violence in every country of the world and sadly they also face many of the same issues of under-reporting especially when its a small country or region.

Our voices need to come together and we need to support each others work and share information and resources which would assist in the process of awareness and in the prevention of violence and abuse against women and girls.

Thank you for posting and being a member of this group.