Malta, the Paradise for Victims of Domestic Violence

8 of March was International Women’s Day. I don’t think much of it, because I am anything but a feminist and because on the other hand I think the legitimate grievances by women (for example in Iran or Saudi Arabia) need more than one day’s attention.

But some organisations in Malta made a bad idea even worse. For International Women’s Day, these business and educational organisations in Malta had a fabulous idea. Quotes from the Times of Malta:

As part of International Women’s Day celebrations, a morning of pampering and beauty therapy was organised for women from the domestic violence shelters Dar Merħba Bik, Dar Qalb ta’ Ġesu’, Dar Tereża Spinelli and Aġenzija Appoġġ, as well as those receiving support from St Jeanne Antide Foundation and Prison Fellowship.

“Don’t worry. We have some really nice lip gloss for you.”

The event, organised by the HSBC Malta Foundation and MCAST Institute of Community Services in collaboration with Banking on Women (BoW) and HSBC Malta’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, treated the ladies to a variety of relaxation and beauty therapies, including facials, makeovers, haircuts and hairstyling.

These treatments were provided free of charge by students and lecturers from the MCAST Institute of Community Services, and gifts, donated by The Body Shop, were handed out. Similar services were offered to women who could not leave the shelters.

“International Women’s Day celebrates the importance and the achievements of all women in society. This Women’s Day activity reinforces this message while making the occasion a special one for women facing difficult life challenges.” said Catherine Gonzi, HSBC Malta Foundation chairperson, who attended the activity together with Sarah Watkinson, HSBC Malta Foundation Deputy Chairperson; Louise Stanton, British High Commissioner and HSBC Malta Foundation Director; and Simone Mizzi, Director of The Body Shop, Malta.

Yes, because a make-up or a new hairstyle is exactly what women who have been beaten, kicked, assaulted and raped need.

Prof Maurice Grech, MCAST Principal and CEO, thanked the HSBC Malta Foundation for collaborating with MCAST in this initiative.

Prof Grech is an engineer so I don’t expect him to be an expert on domestic violence. But surely he could also apply some common sense.

HSBC Malta’s CEO Mark Watkinson and his wife Sarah, who have recently been transferred to Malta, shared a personal account of their experiences as they have moved within the HSBC Group globally – both from a career perspective and from a family perspective.

Listening to the story of a banking executive will provide tremendous solace to women who are wondering what will happen to their children, their marriage, their families. I can virtually see their minds floating off to dividend taxation, return on investment and off-shore accounts. Maybe they will all sign a petition against the financial transaction tax at the end of the event.

Seriously?? Is this the best that Malta can do for victims of domestic violence?

How about concentrating on law enforcement, courts, social services? How about addressing the question why these women are in a shelter in the first place? How about enabling the victims of domestic violence to stay in their own homes while the perpetrators get kicked out of the house? (Like it is done in Germany, for example, with a rather effective law where eviction orders against the perpetrators are often issued by civil courts within one or two days, before law enforcement even gets cracking.) As a specialist for family law, I have a bit of experience with domestic violence, and none of my many clients has ever told me she is worried about her nail polish.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Family Law, Law, Malta, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Malta, the Paradise for Victims of Domestic Violence

  1. Robert Spiegel says:

    You are far too pragmatic. I fear you will never be a good bureaucrat.

  2. Lillian Smith says:

    Because to do so would admit that there is a problem. But of course, as you well know, violence does not exist in Malta.

    Too bad that you are not a feminist,(Feminism is an offshoot of International Socialism) we need more men to be so if things are to change for the better. Having said that, you seem to be more of a feminist then you even know. I agree with your comments and the trivializing of the domestic violence but feminism has been highjacked by Wall Street a long time ago, as far back as when Cosmopolitan magazine first came out in fact.

  3. Marjeta says:

    Andreas, every woman likes a little treat every now and then. You have cigars, women have other things.

    • But I don’t ask educational or “charitable” institutions to provide cigars to me. And when somebody sends me cigars – which would be most appreciated – it won’t be applauded by newspapers as a humanitarian gesture to help the weakest of society.

    • Aye, Kew. says:

      Monica Lewinsky LOVED cigars, literally.

  4. Marjeta says:

    A news is a news. :D

    • And a promotional event by a bank should not be given space in a newspaper, unless they pay for the advertising. That’s the other thing that annoyed me about this report.

  5. Valentina says:

    After a woman goes through abbuse ,when she settles, she wishes to find that someone that next to force her and except being pampered a little ,every start is great cause it makes you realize you are alive and if it is free is better, because cash is very low for most at that time ,about the bank talk I couldn’t agree more with you.Maybe the bank could have given them some kind of funds account to start them off for at least the first three months of rent till they get a job to become independant and get back some kind of privacy somewhere else ,be sure they enjoyed that day and till no faces and identities have been shown it’s ok ,the young girls surely must feel proud to have put a smile on the women’s faces,and maybe learned from the women too and grew compassion more ,even if is just for one time ,just for a day,you can not imagine how much it feels good to have people tryin to make you feel good.Andreas ,there are a lot of different cases in Domestic Violence and sometimes you can not stay and you do not wish to stay for diff reasons,and sometimes the perpetrator is made to leave with a lot of etc and etc after . And as for other countries ,there are women’s shelters and there is still lots to do all over the world in domestic violence .Have a lovely evening and thank you.

  6. Joseph Cini says:

    Ah..the ever consistently sarcastic Lillian Smith…never misses an opportunity to denigrate anything Maltese…what have we done to you that’s made you so angry? Unlike Andreas who has made some very valid points and offered some useful suggestions…except in the title which in my opinion is not only a tad too sarcastic, but misrepresents reality to the point of distraction (there IS no paradise for abused women Mr Moser, anywhere, but you know that)
    Oh come Andreas, you are smarter than that, this occasion is just a little acknowledgement of the problem and a sign of solidarity from some very high profile people whose mere presence is indicating that there is political will to improve on what’s already on offer. The women in the shelter certainly didn’t seem to mind a bit of pampering.
    And finally Andreas, for a lot of things to make sense in Malta you need to adapt your thinking to a small island mentality…what may make perfect sense in Germany MAY not be suitable here, e.g. abused women may never feel secure in their own homes here as, being such a small place, it is very difficult to avoid people you may not wish to meet, hence I suspect the refuges make more sense for some.
    I hope you continue with your very interesting commentary for a while yet, as you present topics in novel and interesting ways

  7. Aye, Kew. says:

    What did you expect from a bank?
    Cheap-shot promotion.

  8. Laurie Sicard-Askey says:

    I guess he thought the makeup would cover up the scars and bruises.

  9. Laurie Sicard-Askey says:

    In my teens there was a woman who started up the first safe houses in the UK: Erin Patria Margaret Pizzey is an English family care activist and a novelist. She is known for having started the first domestic violence shelter in the modern world, Chiswick Women’s Aid, in 1971, the organization known today as Refuge. We also had a safe house close to where we lived and we used to donate toys and clothes. In those days 70s women would be homeless while the asshole hitters would live comfortable in the family home. Not so now in the UK, the bastards are kicked out as it should be here in the Maltese Islands. Which is one reason I still call Malta a developing country, one up from a third world one.

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