Running in support of victims of crime

Running in support of victims of crime

Victim Support Malta Community April 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm
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Project Description

Hello friends, acquaintances and supporters!

As some of you already know, I will be running the Gozo Half Marathon on April 24th to raise funds for Victim Support Malta.

Victim Support Malta (VSM) is a fantastic NGO that provides support and assistance for crime survivors in Malta, and brings together an amazing group of talented and dedicated people. The services offered by VSM range from emotional support to help victims overcome their traumas; to free and confidential legal information sessions on criminal procedures, compensation, liaison with the police; and practical support. VSM also runs SART (sexual assault response team) which is a public social partnership offering victims of sexual assault social work services, assistance and liaison throughout medical and forensic procedures, liaison with police, free legal services, free counselling and other services which may be needed on a case by case basis.

VSM staff meet numerous victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, rape, bullying, fraud, theft, and so on. These are people who have suffered considerable pain and suffering, whose lives have been radically changed – sometimes irreversibly – as a result of crime. Most of them feel lost, hopeless, alone and confused. What’s worse, is that oftentimes, the authorities they turn to for help treat them with scepticism, failing to acknowledge them and their pain, and effectively subjecting them to secondary victimisation. VSM tries to ‘fill the gap’, lending victims a helping hand and acting as an intermediary with criminal justice officials.

VSM’s work is necessary and invaluable, yet like many other NGOs, it faces many challenges. Despite being THE ONLY NGO providing general victim support services in Malta, VSM only receives funding (from government or other entities) for specific projects, meaning that it is not in receipt of ongoing funding and is often struggling to cover the costs of generic services and the day-to-day running of its activities.

For this reason, I am jumping into my runners and braving Gozitan hills on what will probably be a VERY warm and sunny day in April, in the hope of raising some money for what I know for certain is a great cause. If you know me personally, I hope that our friendship will be a good enough reason to donate to this cause; if you don’t, do take the time to check out VSM’s website and Facebook page to familiarise yourself with its work, or read VSM’s article about sexual assault published in the Times of Malta on March 9th.

If you live in Malta, this is an excellent opportunity to bring about change in your local reality, help others and derive a sense of accomplishment from doing so. If you live abroad, and feel that the Maltese reality is very distant from your own, just bear in mind that crime occurs worldwide and that in its basic quality, human suffering is the same everywhere, regardless of different socio-cultural contexts.

Why not donate that extra cash that you may otherwise spend on a night out or a shopping spree, to a good cause?

VSM needs you and I am sure I will be motivated to run even faster thanks to your donations and your generosity:)

All donors will be acknowledged and will receive an update via email on how the funds have been used.


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