In the wake of serious concerns raised over a controversial system being used by authorities to assess the risk of domestic violence, the Maltese Police Force has told Lovin Malta that it agrees the system needs some reform.
“Some changes [should be made] in order to protect the interests of both parties and minimise the risk of anyone trying to take advantage of the system,” the police told Lovin Malta
Following reports by The Malta Independent, Lovin Malta covered how the DASH (the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model) system was being flagged as ineffective by magistrates, lawyers and the police.
Some cases essentially result in innocent individuals being charged with a crime, forcibly removed from their homes, held without the opportunity to post bail and in some cases even being separated from their children, before being proven guilty.
DASH itself is essentially a checklist of questions used by authorities to identify the level of risk of domestic violence on a case-by-case basis. Several reports have flagged issues surrounding its poor accuracy.
In March, the lawyer of a man who allegedly attacked and threatened his father accused Appoġġ of exaggerating the case.
“Suddenly, everyone is high risk,” Lawyer Martin Fenech said
Meanwhile, a Maltese woman was jailed for making over 100 false accusations against the father of her children.
A Ministry for Equality Spokesperson recently told The Malta Independent that the system was being fine-tuned with the involvement of Police, Aġenzija Appoġġ and the Commission for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence.
Appoġġ and the Women’s Rights Foundation are yet to reply to questions sent over two weeks ago.
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