Lydia Abela is spearheading a 16-day activism drive to highlight domestic violence which has been officially named ‘Beat the Silence’.

The prime minister’s wife was joined by parliamentary secretary Rebecca Buttigieg and Domestic Violence Commissioner Samantha Pace Gasan at the launch of the campaign, which seeks to encourage people to identify and speak up about such violence whenever it occurs.

Abela emphasised the importance of educating people about the issue.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, she said, as she said the government was working to revise and reform laws to better combat domestic violence.

Saturday, November 25 marks the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the ‘Beat the Silence’ campaign has been timed to coincide with that event.

Buttigieg said the ‘Beat the Silence’ campaign seeks to target all members of society, not just domestic violence victims. Relatives, friends and colleagues of such victims all have a role to play in helping victims and speaking out about such abuse, she said.

She said the government would be using the campaign to spur its five-year domestic violence action plan forward.

According to official figures, the law courts are currently bogged down with domestic violence cases, with 2,283 pending cases before the two magistrates assigned to handle them.

The government believes part of the problem is that the legal definition of ‘domestic violence’ is overly broad, and earlier this week said work was under way to draft a new, more restricted definition of the crime.

Speaking on Friday, Domestic Violence Commissioner Pace Gasan said the ‘Beat the Silence’ campaign would see her office work with various ministries, organisations and NGOs on a diverse range of events and activities that seek to raise awareness about the importance of speaking out about domestic violence.

Activities will target various social groups, ranging from the elderly to children, athletes and workers, she said.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.