Times of Malta carries three headlines today on its court news page. “Man charged with sexually molesting estranged wife.” “Husband accused of arson attack on van of his ex’s lover.” “Had sex with a minor girl and filmed it.”

Yesterday there was another report. “Rapist gets nine years in jail for ‘cowardly, inhuman’ act in St Julian’s.”

We could ask politicians to improve laws, provide for harsher penalties, increase the deterrent by aggravating penalties when violence is perpetrated by men against women.

But we shouldn’t have to ask for the institutions we pay for to just do their job.

Consider this extract from Edwina Brincat’s report of this last case I refer to, the case of the Vile Rapist of St Julian’s:

“The court, however, lamented the lack of photos at the crime scene as well as the failure to summon as witnesses third parties who had stopped the suspected rapist from getting away. The Attorney General had failed to address such loopholes to ensure that the best evidence was put forward and to eliminate any doubt which could undermine the judicial process.

“The court also addressed the courts’ administration, urging those involved to ensure that judgments were speedily enforced. “Failing to do so would be an injustice to society,” remarked the court. This was said in light of the fact that the accused continued to be deemed as a first-time offender because he had not paid a €500 fine he was handed when conditionally discharged in separate proceedings, mere days before the rape. Since that fine was not paid, the punishment was not deemed to have been served and consequently, that sentence could not be taken into account to prove relapsing.”

There will always be specialist rapists, women-beaters, violent misogynists, and paedophiles. Is it too much to ask to have proper investigators, prosecutors, and administrators of justice?

It’s bad enough some men hurt, rape, and kill women. It’s almost as bad that men fail women by not doing their jobs properly.