Public consultation: Service standards for domestic violence victims

A set of standards for residential services as well as community services for victims of domestic violence have been published for public consultation, where the public is encouraged to take part.

This was announced by the Minister for Social Solidarity Michael Falzon. The full document can be found here. The public is encouraged to give its opinion via email to regulations.scsa@gov.mt, or by post to Regulation and Standards Office, Social Care Standards Authority, 469, Bugeia Institute, St Joseph High Road, Santa Venera, SVR 1012. The public may also call 2549 4446 for assistance on how to submit their opinion.

These guidelines are aimed to guide emergency shelters to understand the level of standards needed to be met in order to host victims of domestic violence. Such standards include the services provided, the recruitment proċess for those who work at such homes, and how such services are directly targeting the victims’ needs.

There will also be an ‘aftercare plan’ so as to ensure stability for the affected persons.

Minister for Equality Edward Zammit Lewis stated that he hopes that such a public consultation will lead to new ways of addressing domestic violence at its very root. Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reform Rosianne Cutajar said  that victims of domestic violence must be given refuge so as not to face any other form of aggression, adding that 16 women were killed as a result of domestic violence over the past ten years.

On his end, the CEO of the Social Standards Authority Matthew Vella stated that at the heart of these new standards are the victims who suffer domestic violence, as well as principles of security, governance and the simplification of processes which leads to services of the highest quality.

These guidelines were drafted with the collaboration of a number of ministries, as well as professionals. The Social Standards Authority also consulted the Commissioner’s Office for Gender Based Violence and Domestic Violence.