When danger lurks at home: What you need to know about protection from family violence

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Find out the legal options available to victims of family violence, here.

Family violence is often a difficult area to tread, as victims are subject to violent conduct from people they trust most, often right in their own home. This then makes the fear and threat of further violence more imminent and more dangerous for the victims.

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It is imperative that victims of family crime know their rights and seek legal help immediately in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The Singapore Women’s Charter protects family members from a range of different violent acts. The definition of “family member” under Section 64 of the Women’s Charter includes all of the following:

  • Spouse or former spouse;
  • Child, adopted child, step-child;
  • Father or mother;
  • Father-in-law or mother-in-law;
  • Brother or sister; and
  • Any other relative that should be regarded as a family member.

Section 64 also defines “family violence”, being:

  • Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place a family member in fear of hurt
  • Causing hurt to a family member which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt
  • Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against their will
  • Causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing it is likely to cause anguish to a family member
  • But does not include any force lawfully used in self-defence, or by way of correction towards a child below 21 years of age

As can be observed, these definitions are very broad, allowing for greater protection against different types of family violence from a range of family members.

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Protection options available to victims on the next page.

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