Researchers proposals to improve women’s conditions at shelters and open centres

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Following a study focused on migrant women, the same researchers have now published a list of proposals. This list is aimed to illustrate areas in which the government need to take action in order to provide a better life for these women living in domestic violence shelters and open centres.

In This Together is a collaborative study between the Womens Rights Foundation and the Jesuit Refugee Service Malta. It collected the experience of 114 women that live in three institutions and two open centres from around Malta following domestic violence or migration from war torn countries.

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.

What is being proposed

  • Coordination between the services that vulnerable women are being offered in order to avoid them the ordeal of having to repeat their traumatic experiences over and over again in order to receive a number of services;
  • Further training sessions for government employees, employers and landlords on the right of the refugee and the problems that domestic violence victims face;
  • Establishment of clear standards for shelters and open centres;
  • Financing of necessary refurbishments and maintenance of residential facilities;
  • Assurance of long-term standards and establishment of monitoring mechanisms to uphold such standards;
  • Assurances that staff at the shelters are adequately trained and are able to deliver a humane approach to the victims;
  • More effective frameworks for the inclusion of these women in the management of the shelters and centres, such as improved privacy and self-care promotion;
  • Need for necessary support for the residents at shelters/open centres which should include mentors and care workers that are able to cater for the women’s needs;
  • Residential courses that help in furthering one’s education and skills in order for these women to be able to become independent and integrate with the rest of society;
  • Childcare services available before a woman actually managed to find employment making a woman’s life a bit easier whilst she is securing appointments with JobsPlus and interviews;
  • Insurance that applications made by women coming from shelters receive priority and that social benefits are received two weeks after application;
  • No charge on residence permits, work permits and other documents or services until the women can be independent.

Read also: Migrant women and children need therapy – study