The Creative Voice that does not Shake, a publication by the women survivors of Violence Against Women who reside at Il-Milja, Fondazzjoni Sebħ, was launched on March 8 to commemorate Women’s Day. Through this publication, the women have been given the space to express themselves through creative means including art, poetry, messages as well as prayer.
This publication gave survivors the well-deserved space to express themselves and raise awareness about the abuse and violence which, despite the achievements, continue to be present in the lives of many women around the world. This booklet wouldn’t have become a reality without the long-standing support of the Association of International Women in Malta, who this time funded the printing giving our women the message that their voice matters, that they matter.
Yvonne Mallia, director of Fondazzjoni Sebħ introduced the event with a heavy heart following the murder of Rita Ellul, an alleged victim of domestic violence, only last week and Paulina Dembska earlier on this year. Yet she also expressed hope as women residing at Il-Milja have shown courage and resilience when voicing their experiences of pain caused by the abuse they suffered and the impact this has left on them. “Thank you for being ready to show society the pains that you endure, the hopes and dreams that you have and your wish for a better future for you, your children and all the other women”.
Mallia appealed to all of society to listen to their voice and to take a clear stand against violence against women, emphasising that the victim is never to blame. The presence of the Commissioner on Gender Based Violence and Domestic Violence, Audrey Friggieri, during the launch and the support she gave towards this initiative continued to validate the voice of the survivors. Friggieri stated that these women know humiliation, loneliness, despair and fear, but they also know hope, determination and love, all of which they are sharing with us all by means of this publication being launched this Women’s Day 2022.
“Their experiences are after all human experiences that serve to enlighten us further about what it means to be human, about the strength of hope, and about the greatest love of all, without which we cannot love anyone truly – loving yourself. These survivors have won one of the most important battles in life as women and as human beings, very often in silence, building themselves up from the ruins and ashes of abuse and violence from someone they loved, with whom they dreamed of building a life. Now they are moving on, healing themselves with love, walking on the path of a new life for themselves and their children,” Friggieri said.
“On women’s day we salute these women – they are warriors in their own right! During the event the attendees observed a one-minute silence to honour women and girls in war and conflict zones who suffered rape and various other tortures,” she concluded.