The Singapore Family Physician

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

Spousal Violence and Child Witnesses

Goh Lee Gan
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 37 No 1 - Managing Family Violence
25 - 29
1 January 2011
Spousal abuse is the most prevalent form of family violence in Singapore. The term can be taken to be similar in meaning to intimate partner violence. The introduction of an integrated approach to management which includes amendments to the women’s Charter to provide protection for abused women has led to a decrease in the number of cases of spousal abuse. Understanding the causes, spousal abuse theories, and consequences form the first step of action. A high index of suspicion, assessment of danger, and appropriate management of the victim and aggressor are key pointers to take note of. Primary and secondary prevention efforts in child witnesses to intimate partner abuse will help to reduce the intergenerational transmission of intimate partner abuse. An intervention programme for child witnesses immediately and ongoing creates awareness that intimate partner abuse is not their fault and that they have a safety plan in case of recurrent episodes of violence exposure.