Migrant women and children need therapy – study

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Migrant women that live in different local centres and residences said that there is the need to introduce therapy for migrant children and parents. They added that this will help them to move on from the negative impact of the trauma that they have gone through.

The In This Together study, which is a collaborative effort between the Jesuit refugee Service Malta and the Womens Rights Foundation and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. It highlights the experience of 114 women that are living in institutions and open centres after they had to experience domestic violence or war an persecution. The female focus group consisted of women from three domestic violence shelters and two open centres.

The women explained that therapy is offered sometimes, but not on a regular basis. They added that in most cases they are transferred to psychological support services with long waiting lists. Others commented that they cannot afford to seek private assistance.

Without a job we cannot use childcare services

One of the main challenges mentioned in the study is the need for childcare. These women are single mothers without any other support system. They cannot seek any sort of employment that leaves them away from their children during the hours were childcare is not available. They also added that the free childcare offered by the Government is only available when a mother already has a job. The women explained that therefore many women find it difficult to find employment as they have nobody to leave their children with during the seeking period.

The women also said that the Government childcare scheme does not consider mothers working on shift basis. There are also a number of women that risk losing their employment because their children get sick as they have nobody to trust them with.

The report also discusses the importance of childcare for women who have gone through trauma, as it facilities resting time to recuperate from their negative experience. The report elaborates that when women are serene that their children are being taken care of properly, they can easily participate in activities that empower them to progress in their life, or simply socialize with others.

Conclusions

The study concluded that notwithstanding the different circumstances and backgrounds, the women had similar concerns. Amongst the issues worrying these women are the lengthy court proceedings, and their emotional wellbeing.

A strong sense of self-determination has also emerged. Such a goal may only be reached when emotional needs are met, and tools to assist them to move on to the next chapter of their life are provided.

Read also: Study shows that women in shelters and open centres do not feel safe