Updated 3.15pm with detail
In the first four months of 2022, the police received 538 domestic violence reports, figures tabled in parliament on Tuesday revealed.
The figure was provided by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri, who tabled a list of the number of reports filed in the different localities across Malta and Gozo.
He provided the figures in a reply to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici.
The 538 reports mean that police received an average of almost 4.5 domestic violence every day between January and April.
St. Paul’s Bay had the highest number of filed reports (29), followed by Żabbar (24), and Żejtun (23). In towns such as Dingli, Iklin, Mqabba, Nadur and Sannat in Gozo, only one report was filed.
Reported numbers are likely to be significantly lower than the actual figures: it is believed that just one in every three victims of sexual assault, for instance, file reports about the abuse.
Maltese are also statistically among the Europeans least likely to report cases of domestic violence to the police, and when such cases reach the courts they are often bogged down by court delays and a low rate of convictions.
Mifsud Bonnici also asked how many domestic violence cases were reported to the police in 2021.
According to another table, the police received 1,741 reports of domestic violence last year. St. Paul’s Bay (124) and Żabbar (83) were, again, the localities with the highest number of domestic violence reports.
The figures were provided days after Times of Malta reported how a woman who was kicked, punched, and held captive for several hours saw her aggressor walk away without any effective consequences, despite admitting to his actions.
Earlier this year, Times of Malta reported how nearly 300 domestic violence cases were pending before the one magistrate assigned to handle them, according to figures compiled by the law courts.