Victim Support Malta, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity provides support and assistance to sexual assault and rape victims through social work services, free psychological services, free legal representation/consultation and liaison with hospital and the police. Find out more by clicking here.
What is consent?
Consent occurs when somebody knowingly agrees to participate in something. Any sexual act which occurs in the absence of consent of one of the parties is a sexual assault. A person cannot provide consent or agree to participate in a sexual act if they are:
- Under the legal age of consent
- In a mentally impaired state
- Intimidated, coerced or threatened
- Responding to someone in a position of power (such as an employer/ manager, therapist)
If someone initially agrees to participate in an act, but then changes their mind, they have the right to withdraw consent. In sexual acts, one can withdraw consent by saying things like:
- ‘Can we take a break?’
- ‘I don’t want to anymore’
- ‘I need to go’
- ‘I don’t think I want to do this’
Dealing with Sexual Assault in Malta:
Care for Victims of Sexual Assault (formerly known as SART)
Victim Support Malta, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity, is responsible for the coordination of services for victims of sexual assault in Malta. The aim of such services is to provide care which is as holistic and victim-centered as possible.
The team operates on a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week on call basis from Mater Dei Hospital. Victims of sexual assault can call at hospital at any time in order to access the following services:
1. Medical Check-up
Doctors and nurses are available to provide a thorough check-up for victims following incidents of sexual assault. The check-up includes testing and follow-up for STDs and pregnancy.
2. Police Intervention
If the victim wishes to report the crime to the police, delegates will be dispatched to Mater Dei Hospital, so that the victim can submit their account then and there.
3. Social Work Services
Victims of sexual assault will be assessed in order to determine safety and what type of support is necessary. If it is unsafe for a victim to return to their home, they will be supported in seeking shelter.
Following services at Mater Dei Hospital, all victims are also entitled to:
4. Free Psychological Services / Counselling
Victims of sexual assault experience high levels of trauma, which may affect their daily lives, up until well after the incident has occurred. We encourage victims to access these free and professional services.
5. Free legal representation / consultation
Victims of sexual assault are entitled to free legal services. This means that clients can be represented and supported legally throughout court proceedings. In the event that victims do not wish to report the case to the police, they are still entitled to access legal services in order to determine their rights as victims of sexual assault.
A number of support services will also be available depending on individual case requirements. Victims are free to access whichever services they wish to utilize whilst refuting the rest.
For information or queries regarding the Care for Victims of Sexual Assault service kindly contact Sarah Jane Mifsud on 21228333 or at [email protected] This line is accessible during office hours.
If you have suffered sexual assault, whether it was recently or not, and would like to access our services, get in touch with us by emailing Sarah on [email protected], phoning the office on 21228333 or filling out the contact form below.