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Award in Understanding Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence

Course Description

Domestic violence is a reality which is frequently overlooked in our society albeit the fact that 1 in every 3 women and 1 in every 4 men experience some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime (NCADV, 2020).

It happens behind closed doors and is rarely talked about, almost a social taboo. Domestic violence is however not a private matter but a social one, and learning about it and how to prevent, together with assisting victims should be everyone’s responsibility.

The aim of this unit is for participants to learn what domestic violence really is, how to identify signs and how to assist victims (both adult and children) whilst taking care of own self. Before being able to offer any assistance, it is first and foremost essential to comprehend what domestic violence really is, understand the different forms of abuse and define it, including the legal definition.

During the course we will discuss the power and control dynamic together with the cycle of abuse. We will also challenge common misconceptions surrounding domestic violence to really be able to identify any signs and traits of abuse including more subtle ones. The unit will then look into the effects of domestic violence on the victims including the impact it has on children and other social connections. The challenges and difficulties of leaving will also be explored and challenge societies’ perception that victims should just leave. We will also look into what causes domestic violence mainly the impact of a patriarchal society together with dysfunctional upbringing.

Following the understanding phase, we shall proceed to learn how to assist. This involves engaging with ways of acting appropriately upon encountering abuse. We will tackle elements such as how to respond, support and services available together with learning how to devise an emergency plan. It is important to note that the level of support we can provide is also dependent on our profession and background.

Lastly, in this unit we will also look a bit into self-care. Dealing with domestic violence victims can also have its toll on the helper. We will therefore look into burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue. We will explore how to identify these in ourselves and support measures to be able to take care of our own needs.

Unit Content -Learning Outcomes

  • LO1 Understand the meaning of domestic violence.

  • LO2 Understand the cause and effects of domestic violence.

  • LO3 Assist victims of domestic violence professionally.

  • LO4 Support own self while assisting victims of domestic violence.

Entry Requirements:

  • MCAST Advanced Diploma in the Health and Social Care sectors.


  • 2 A-Level passes and 2 I-Level passes AND Ordinary Level Passes in Maltese, English and Mathematics.


Mature Students

Students who satisfy the following conditions may apply for consideration to join MCAST programmes as mature students:

  • Be in possession of the School Leaving Certificate

  • Have, by the end of the current calendar year attained the age of 23 years for entry to programmes at MQC Level 5, by the end of the current calendar year

  • Demonstrate that they stand to benefit and show that they are able to follow the programme through an interview held for the purpose.

The Admissions Board may require candidates to undertake additional studies as part of their acceptance. The Board may recommend an alternative programme where it considers it appropriate. The Board reserves the right to evaluate the prospective candidate’s competences through an assessment.

Students are advised to contact the Office of Part-Time Courses to clarify any queries.

Link for course description:

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 The challenges and difficulties of leaving will also be explored and challenge societies’ perception that victims should just leave.





Registered Voluntary Organisation Number: 1136


19, Triq San Mark, Valletta

VLT1362. Malta



+356 9927 2999

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