FPA’s 2023 Annual Report Sheds Light on Domestic Violence Trends

MV+ News Desk | April 1, 2024
Photo: The Borgen Project

In the Greater Male’ Region and surrounding provinces, domestic violence remains a pressing concern despite ongoing efforts by law enforcement and authorities. The Family Protection Authority (FPA) recently released its annual report for 2023, shedding light on the extent of domestic violence cases and the challenges faced in addressing them effectively.

Key Findings:

  • Incident Reporting: A total of 433 domestic violence incidents were reported to the police, indicating a significant prevalence of such cases within the community. Out of these, 227 were investigated.
  • Referrals to FPA: A total of 614 referrals were sent to the Family Protection Authority in 2023.
  • Demographic Breakdown: The victims of domestic violence were predominantly female (195) and male (160), with gender information missing for 114 cases of victims under 18. In total, 469 victims were under the age of 18.

Likewise, a total 503 victims were above age 18; Women: 423 were women, while 80 were men.

  • Types of Abuse: Psychological abuse and verbal assault were the most prevalent forms of violence, accounting for 553 cases. Additionally, physical injury and intimidation were reported in 310 cases.
  • Protection Orders: Courts issued 103 urgent protection orders in response to domestic violence cases.

Challenges and Concerns:

  • Resource Constraints: Despite efforts to enhance technical skills through training and workshops, inadequate budget allocation remains a significant hurdle in supporting staff involvement and professional development. The lack of personnel further impedes the Authority’s capacity to prevent and address domestic violence effectively.
  • Victim Support Services: The absence of comprehensive victim support services, including counselling and anger management therapy, poses a significant barrier to rehabilitation and recovery for survivors of domestic violence. The shortage of qualified professionals exacerbates this challenge, underscoring the urgent need for investment in human resources.
  • Shelter and Welfare Policies: The insufficient establishment of shelters and the absence of a dedicated welfare policy for domestic violence victims further compound the challenges in providing essential protection and support. Addressing these gaps is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of those affected by domestic violence.

As part of cost-saving measures, the Authority’s budget allocation was reduced by MVR 108,923.77, as deducted by the Ministry of Finance.

The FPA’s expenditure as of December 2023 reflects recurring expenditure of MVR 9,993,636.04 and capital expenditure of MVR562,452.19, totalling MVR10,556,088.23.

With a remaining budget of MVR 1,454,008.66 for recurring expenditure and MVR146.15 for capital expenditure, there is a pressing need for increased financial support to address resource constraints and bolster operational capabilities.

The findings of FPA’s 2023 annual report underscore the pervasive nature of domestic violence and the critical need for coordinated efforts to address it comprehensively. Addressing resource constraints, strengthening victim support services, and implementing robust protective measures are imperative to combating domestic violence and fostering safer communities for all.