Domestic violence is never acceptable, whatever the circumstances and is unilaterally condemned. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi emphasised the destructive effects of domestic violence in a sermon delivered to the staff and residents of the shelter Dar Qalb ta’ Ġesù. Human dignity said Bishop Galea-Curmi is not based on strength or prowess but rather on the ability of a person to help others shoulder their burdens. Domestic violence batters not only people but also their self-concept, their relationships with the rest of the family and, all too frequently leads to serious illness and ugly consequences. This horror is widespread, said the Auxiliary Bishop and its awfulness stems from the fact that it is perpetrated by those supposedly avowed to protecting the person they violate.
To the victims of domestic violence, the Church brings a message of courage and solidarity, helping them to leave abusive situations. Bishop Galea-Curmi said that the Church, with the help of qualified staff tries to help these victims build a new self-concept and look to the future with hope and determination. Thanking all operatives in this sector, the Auxiliary Bishop said that it is the responsibility of each person to do their little bit to help. He suggested listening to people in abusive relationships, suggesting to them helplines and helping them re-integrate into society. This aspect of re-integration said Bishop Galea-Curmi is one of the greater challenges of people who are seeking to exit an abusive relationship since they generally ostracise themselves and find communication difficult.
The Auxiliary Bishop said that help within the family is of paramount importance as it fosters an environment of love and trust. Which is why, said the Bishop, any abusive relationship must be condemned without reservation and requires immediate intervention. Referring to the document issued by the Diocesan Synod on marriage and the family, Bishop Galea-Curmi said that while the victim of abuse does have a cross to carry, that cross is not the acceptance of or submission to violence and abuse. The cross is the hard work that person must carry out to rebuild themselves after the abuse, work which must be carried out diligently, determinedly and assiduously.