Family violence or domestic abuse should be something no person should ever experience or witness. Unfortunately, more family violence cases continue to be reported here in Singapore.
In order to protect victims and prevent any more incidents from happening, the police have released the number of family violence offences from the previous year while speaking to reporters on Thursday (21 January). This is the very first time the police are revealing such figures to the public.
Police Reveals Shocking Number Of Reported Family Violence Cases
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Just last year in 2020, there were 5,135 family violence cases reported and 1,115 of these were referred to family service centres or family violence specialist centres. Although, the police did not provide any figures for other previous years.
Between the months of April and December in 2020, there was a 10 per cent rise in family violence cases as said by Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim while he spoke to reporters on a visit at Bedok Police Division.
The offences recorded involved causing hurt, using criminal force, assault, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement according to The Straits Times.
Associate Professor Faishal also said that this increase in cases was expected as people spent more time at home as compared to pre-Covid-19 days.
The police have previously said that there were 476 reports of offences regarding family violence filed in 2020 from 7 April to 6 May which was 22 per cent jump from the monthly average of 389 before the circuit breaker period.
Scheme To Prevent Domestic Violence In Singapore
There are also plans for a scheme to help family violence offenders address the root cause of their problems to be expanded to cover their next-of-kin according to Prof Faishal.
In addition, he said, “We want to provide more holistic help for the families involved in such cases… If we are better able to understand their needs, we can reach out to various social service agencies that may be able to help them.
The police will be referring offenders to social workers or CARES officers under the Home Team Community Assistance and Referral Scheme (HT Cares) to assess whether social intervention is needed. This will involve suitable agencies for help in different areas including financial assistance and counselling sessions.
“CARES officers will interview the offenders to establish the socio-economic circumstances that might have contributed to their offending behaviour and refer them to the appropriate social service agencies for assistance,” said Prof Faishal according to CNA.
This scheme was piloted in January 2020 at the Bedok Police Division in consultation with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). Since then there have been 218 offenders referred to HT Cares officers. There are also efforts to extend this scheme to all divisions by the end of this year.
How To Get Help
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and facing distress, do not hesitate to report such cases to the Police. In case of immediate threat, you can call the police at 999 or go to your nearest neighbourhood Police Post or Centre for help.
You may also contact your nearest Family Service Centre for help, or dial the below helplines if you need someone to talk to:
- AWARE: 1800 777 5555
- Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221 4444
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
- Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
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