The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 37 No. 1 - Managing Family Violence

Overview of Management of Family Violence in Singapore

Goh Lee Gan
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 37 No 1 - Managing Family Violence
8 - 16
1 January 2011
Family Violence has an injurious effect on the person or persons violated and also on those who witness it, especially the children in the family. These are the “silent victims”. Like many other social issues that we face, family violence is a complex phenomenon that is multifaceted. It requires responses from all sectors of society to co-operate and collaborate in ensuring the safety and well-being of families. Singapore’s strategy in tackling family violence is to manage the victims, manage the abusers, and strengthen the families affected by violence through (1) a legislative framework, (2) the “Many Helping Hands” approach, (3) training and professional competency and (4) public education. Compiled statistics from the Subordinate Courts showed an increasing trend of the number of PPO applications since 1996 as more victims became aware and made reports for personal protection. There has been a general decline on the number of applications for PPOs since 2001, falling 14.4% between 2001 and 2008. It is postulated that this is due to the success in networking and preventive education as families that seek help earlier may not need to resort to taking the legal route. There are still the ongoing challenges of strengthening the system, sensitizing frontline providers, and educating the public. There is also a need to encourage local research to study the effectiveness of family violence management, and new strategies.