Sr Joan Garner had the surprise of her life when she received a letter handed over to her personally informing her that The University of Malta will be conferring her an Honoris Causa Master of Letters Degree, the reason being her pioneering work to help women and their children facing all kinds of abuse, victims of prostitution and domestic violence as well as trafficking.
In 1981 the Shelter for domestic violence victims called “ Dar Merhba Bik” was opened and Sr Joan, missioned by the Congregation “ Our Lady Of Charity of the Good Shepherd in Malta, managed the shelter for a whole 16 years facing all kinds of aggression, threats ,dangers, from the perpetrators, did advocacy, awareness on programs both on radio, television, interviews on newspapers.
In those days these issues were not talked about in public. The Honoris Causa ceremony took place on the 19th November 2021 at the Jesuits` Church in Valletta. Sr Joan`s community was invited She was also described as being a role model for academics.