In Singapore, the personal protection order serves as a vital legal mechanism to protect individuals from harassment, violence, and threats within domestic and familial relationships. Issued under the Women’s Charter 1961 (“Women’s Charter”) a personal protection order provides legal recourse for victims of family violence to seek relief and ensure their safety and well-being. In this article, we explore the key reasons why individuals may file for a PPO in Singapore, emphasizing the importance of seeking legal protection in situations of distress and danger.

Before delving into the reasons to file for a personal protection order, the following are individuals who may make an application for a personal protection order under Part 7 of the Women’s Charter: 

  1. a spouse or former spouse of the perpetrator;
  2. a child of the perpetrator, including an adopted child and a stepchild;
  3. a father or mother of the perpetrator;
  4. a father-in-law or mother-in-law of the perpetrator;
  5. a brother or sister of the perpetrator; or
  6. any other relative of the perpetrator or an incapacitated person who in the opinion of the court should, in the circumstances, in either case be regarded as a member of the family of the perpetrator. 

1. Protection Against Family Violence: Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects individuals of all backgrounds, genders, and ages. It encompasses physical violence, emotional abuse, harassment and threats within intimate relationships or family settings. Victims of domestic violence may experience fear, trauma, and a sense of powerlessness, making it essential to seek legal protection. 

Domestic violence, or family violence, is defined in the Women’s Charter – under Section 64 of the Women’s Charter, family violence includes the commission of the following acts: 

  1. Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt; 
  2. Causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt; 
  3. Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his or her will; 
  4. Causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member, 

However, family violence does not include any force lawfully used in self-defence, or by way of correction towards a child below 21 years of age.  

A personal protection order can provide immediate relief by restraining the perpetrator from committing further acts of family or domestic violence ensuring their physical safety and well-being. Additionally, a personal protection order may include provisions for the perpetrator and/or family members involved to attend counselling to address and/or resolve the root problems.

2. Prevention of Harassment: Family violence does not only include acts of the conventional sense such as causing hurt or the threat of causing hurt. Individuals may also file for a personal protection order to prevent harassment by an individual who is causing them distress or fear. Harassment may manifest in various forms, such as unwanted communication, surveillance, or intimidation, which can significantly impact the victim’s sense of security and well-being. 

A personal protection order can prohibit the harasser from contacting or approaching the victim, or committing acts that amounts to harassment thereby mitigating the risk of further family violence and enabling the victim to regain a sense of control over their life.

3. Protection of Children and Vulnerable Persons: Children and vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or persons with disabilities, are particularly susceptible to harm and exploitation within domestic relationships. Filing for a personal protection order may be necessary to protect children or vulnerable persons from harm or acts of family violence. 

In cases where a child or vulnerable individual is at risk of abuse or harm from a family member or caregiver, a personal protection order can provide legal protection and intervention to ensure their safety and welfare. By restraining the perpetrator’s access to the child or vulnerable person, a PPO helps safeguard their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. It also facilitates intervention by social services or support agencies to ensure the safety and welfare of the vulnerable individual.

4. Preservation of Mental and Emotional Health: The psychological impact of harassment, abuse, or violence can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychological symptoms as a result of their traumatic experiences.

Filing for a personal protection order allows victims to take proactive steps to protect their mental and emotional well-being by seeking legal intervention and support. by creating a safer and more secure environment for themselves and their loved ones. By obtaining legal intervention and support through a PPO, victims can access resources, counselling, and advocacy services to address their trauma and rebuild their lives free from the threat of harm or harassment.

Filing for a Personal Protection Order in Singapore is a crucial step for individuals seeking protection from harassment, abuse, and violence within domestic relationships. Whether it’s to safeguard against family or domestic violence, prevent harassment and stalking, protect children and vulnerable persons, or preserve mental and emotional health, a personal protection order provides legal recourse and relief for victims in distress. By understanding the key reasons to file for a personal protection order and seeking timely legal assistance, individuals can take proactive measures to ensure their safety and well-being in situations of distress and danger as well as a reasonable chance to preserve the familial unit. 

If you need help with legal matters

Have a question or need more information? Just drop us a line!