A young Maltese woman has come forward with a tense moment she experienced with another female friend in the streets of Valletta, with the hopes that her cautionary tale can shed some light on what she believes is becoming a troublesome area in Malta’s capital.
“It all started with us meeting in Valletta for dinner and wine,” the woman, still in her early 20s, told Lovin Malta. “Then, everything kicked off when we were walking to our car in the parking area just outside the city.”
The woman went on to say that, at one point, a man who appeared to be in his 60s and was speaking in Maltese started following the pair down the capital’s quiet streets, until they arrived at the very lit and public area of Triton Square.
“At first we were quite nice to him despite the confusion,” she said. “I even pulled my mask down a bit and asked him if I knew him, maybe he was my father’s friend or something.”
“Then, he approached me and started touching me. He started telling me how much he enjoyed looking at me. It was very disturbing, and it was at this moment that my friend started nervously pulling me away.”
“We pushed him away, but he kept following us until we arrived at the ticket-paying machine. And eventually, he even brought a woman with him.”
“He started pointing at me, telling the woman who had now joined him, ‘Look, she’s the one I like’.”
“With midnight fast approaching and my friend getting more nervous, I started screaming at him in Maltese,” the young woman said. “He had been speaking to us as if he thought we were foreign, and as soon as I started swearing in Maltese, they both ran off.”
“It didn’t really bug me that much because I’ve been in these situations before and I know how to handle these idiotic scenarios… but if I was 18 years old, no, not really. And it could’ve easily happened to someone that young.”
“Besides, with Valletta being emptier these days, there are areas which are becoming easy targets for people like this,” she continued. “The area around Triton Fountain is one of these areas, and it’s worrying that it’s such a public and well-lit area. Imagine what would’ve happened if we were in some dark alley instead.”
“And before anyone rushes to somehow blame us for this whole thing, we were both wearing the baggiest clothes possible,” she added.
While the young woman said she didn’t file a police report, she went on to detail why the frequency and apparent acceptance of such cases is so worrying.
“This is far from the first time something like this happened, and it’s just sad,” she said.
“Yesterday, I returned to Valletta and I spoke to some people about it, and nearly everyone had the exact same reply – ‘ikraħ dal-ħin’ (this is an ugly time).”
“What I’m mostly angry at is that this woman who was with him didn’t stop him herself,” she continued. “She’s either really used to it or she just doesn’t care about how women are supposed to be treated.”
“Not everyone has tough skin, and we need to be aware that this is a very real and very big problem,” the young woman trailed off, hoping her cautionary tale raises more awareness of the current troublesome situation.
What do you make of this? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos from a March 2020 photoshoot by Emma Tranter