If you are concerned about a family violence situation in Singapore it is important to get help. In our regular column, the team from Consilium Law Corporation answer common queries on a range of legal issues. Here they address the serious issue of family violence.
Identifying family violence
During arguments with my husband, he sometimes threatens to slap me. He also threatens to hit our son if he is “disobedient”. Is this family violence, and what can I do to protect my son and myself?
Your husband’s threats may constitute family violence, which is defined under the Women’s Charter as one of the following acts:
• Wilfully or knowingly placing, or trying to place, a family member in fear of being hurt;
• Causing hurt by an act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
• Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will; or
• Continual harassment with the intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.
Note that family violence does not include any force lawfully used in self-defence, or by way of correction towards a child under the age of 21.
You may apply for, and the court may grant, one or more of the following orders necessary for the protection of you and your son, if it’s found that your husband committed or is likely to commit family violence against either or both of you (and you may apply on your son’s behalf if he’s under the age of 21):
#1 Personal Protection Order: Restrains the use of family violence against the family member.
#2 Expedited Order: A temporary order made if the court is satisfied there is imminent danger of family violence being committed.
#3 Domestic Exclusion Order: Grants a victim the right of exclusive occupation of a shared residence or part thereof, regardless of how it is owned or leased.
The court can also make orders for counselling sessions, or give directions as deemed necessary or incidental to the carrying into effect of any orders made.
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