Working group calls for stronger protection for victims of domestic violence, Singapore latest news
Victims of domestic violence will find it easier to get help and better protection from their abusers if the recommendations released yesterday by a task force are accepted.
The proposals include allowing third parties, such as the director general of social protection, to apply for personal protection orders (PPOs) for those who are victims of violence even without their consent, if the victims are at risk of serious harm and under the undue influence of their relatives. not to request a PPO.
A PPO is a court order prohibiting a person from committing acts of violence against a family member.
Stricter enforcement measures against those violating pardon orders are also required.
The main recommendations include:
- A new emergency response team made up of social service professionals who will work with police to deal with emergencies. The plan is to extend this assistance, which exists for cases of child and elder abuse, to cases of domestic violence;
- Train police investigating domestic violence to have relevant skills and knowledge;
- Allow family courts to order mandatory assessment and treatment for abusers if their mental health issues were a factor in the abuse;
- Make an offense if perpetrators violate pardon orders, such as counseling.
Task force member Sudha Nair, executive director of Pave, which specializes in addressing domestic violence, said about 10 percent of abusers ordered to take counseling do not show up.
She said: “This is one of our biggest challenges because the law at this point does not have enough teeth to compel them to come forward. We need legislative levers to compel them.”
The recommendations of the Domestic Violence Task Force come as the Covid-19 pandemic has seen more cases of such violence and Singapore examines a range of issues affecting women.
During fiscal year 2020, which ended on March 31, 4,574 requests for information on domestic violence were received by specialized centers, an increase of 57% compared to 2,906 requests for fiscal year 2018 These centers treated 1,103 cases in fiscal year 2020, an increase of 24% compared to the 891 cases observed in fiscal year 2018.
Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, co-chair of the working group, said, “We want to break cycles of violence so that our young people can grow up in safe environments and understand what a respectful relationship is. .
Minister of State for the Interior Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, the other co-chair of the task force, said the recommendations address key areas that need to be strengthened “to prevent domestic violence wherever we can and for the better. support victim-survivors, even if we deal firmly with the perpetrators and strengthen their reintegration ”.
The working group, established in February last year, made 16 recommendations in four areas: raising awareness of domestic violence, facilitating reporting of violence and getting immediate help, strengthening protection and support for victims. , and adopt an approach to strengthen the reintegration of abusers.
The Co-Chairs have submitted the report to the government, which will consider these recommendations over the coming weeks.
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