What do you do when face domestic violence? How do you attain protection?
Family violence is defined as:
- Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
- Causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
- Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his or her will; or
- Causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.
In this case, ‘hurt’ is defined as bodily pain, disease, or infirmity.
What is a PO?
A PO intends to restrain the person against whom the order is made from using family violence against the family member.
Who can apply for a PO?
An application for Protection Order can be made by:
- Family member concerned (where they are not below the age of 21 nor an incapacitated person); or
- A guardian or relative or person responsible for the care of the child or by any person appointed by the Minister if the Family Member is below the age of 21 or an incapacitated person;
- (Despite (a) and (b)) an individual below the age of 21 and is married/was previously married if the family member’s concern is the individual, the individual’s child below the age of 21, or a relative below the age of 21 of whom the individual is responsible for the care of.
A family member is defined as a spouse or former spouse of the person, a child of the person (adopted/step-child), father or mother of the person, a father-in-law or mother-in-law of the person, a brother or sister of the person, or any other relative of the person or an incapacitated person who, in the opinion of the court, should be regarded as a member of the family of the person.
Procedure of applying for a PO
There are a few ways to apply for a PO. You can do so through doing the following:
- Apply online via IFAMS
- Apply in-person at the Family Justice Courts, PAVE, Trans Safe Centre, or Care Corner Project
Typically, each application is accompanied with:-
- Police Report;
- Medical Report;
- Identification Documents (e.g., NRIC, Birth Certificate, etc);
- Any previous Protection Orders; or
- Any other documents necessary to support an application
After an application has been successfully submitted, a session with a Court Family Specialist would be arranged, so as to have mediation between parties for a resolution. If no agreement is reached, steps would then be taken to prepare for the hearing (e.g., through arranging for witnesses, submission of further documents and testimonies, etc.).
What are the types of POs?
There are 5 types of orders:
- Personal Protection Orders;
- Expedited Orders;
- Domestic Exclusion Orders;
- Counselling Orders; and
Personal Protection Order (PPO)
These types of orders ensure that abusers refrain from using family violence and/or inciting or assisting another to commit family violence. The Court can grant a PPO if it is satisfied that family violence either has been committed, is likely to be committed, or is necessary for the protection of a family member.
A PPO is determined to be necessary after weighing many factors, although there is not a fixed or prescribed list of considerations (Yue Tock Him @ Yee Chok Him v Yee Ee Lim  SGDC 99).
Expedited Order (EO)
Immediate but temporary PPO. There is a need to issue a PPO before issuing an EO. But, the Court can issue an EO if satisfied that there is an imminent danger of family violence having committed. This would be a temporary PPO unless otherwise satisfied.
Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO)
This order excludes the abuser from the residence that the parties have been living in (even if the abuser is the owner/joint-owner of the house). An applicant must apply for the PPO first before the DEO can be given.
Counselling Order (CO)
This refers to the abuser, victim, and/or their children to attend counselling.
Anything which the Court feels appropriate enough to provide protection. For example, this can look like the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) investigating and sending the protected person to a safe house.
Personal Protection Orders, Expedited Orders, Domestic Exclusion Orders, Counselling Orders, and Directions.
Where you might require more advice and consultancy about your case and the legal procedures, it is ideal to consult a lawyer for guidance and representation. Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years, from traffic offences to high-profile criminal cases – to family and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.