What To Do If You Are Facing Family Violence
What can I do if I am facing family violence?
If you are facing family violence, you have several options for help that may depend on the nature of the emergency and the level of violence:
- Calling for help
- Getting medical attention
- Reporting to the Police
- Seeking counselling
- Seeking shelter in a crisis shelter
- Seeking legal protection
Remember, addressing an abusive relationship does not necessarily mean ending the relationship.
Calling for Help
You can call on the following numbers for immediate advice/ help:
- Police – 999
- AWARE Helpline – 1800 774 5935 (Mon–Fri, 3 pm– 9.30 pm)
Getting Medical Attention
- In case of serious physical injury, see a medical doctor as soon as possible.
- Tell the doctor the true cause of your injuries; do not cover up by saying that you had a fall or that you had an accident.
- All medical reports are confidential.
- Even if you are not seriously injured, it is useful to go to a doctor. If you apply for a Protection Order, you will have to ask the doctor to write a medical report for the court.
- Keep your medical receipt as evidence.
Reporting to the Police
- Even if you do not intend to go ahead with legal proceedings for the moment, you should still make a police report. This may be helpful when you decide to apply for legal protection.
- Go to any police service counter, including neighbourhood police posts, to do this.
- Keep a copy of the police report for future reference.
- For cases of emotional abuse or physical abuse that has left no visible marks, it helps if there are eyewitnesses or other pieces of evidence such as texts or mails that reflect harassment.
- See a counsellor for emotional support. The counsellor can help you to think through your situation.
- Counselling can also help the perpetrators and help them to acknowledge and change their behaviour.
- You may want to contact the following organisations to arrange counselling:
- Family Service Centres (FSCs): There are 35 FSCs in Singapore. Please call ComCare on 1800 222 0000 to be connected to nearest centre
- These Family Service Centres specialise in counselling related to family violence:
Seeking Shelter in a Crisis Shelter
- This should be your last option when there is no friend that you can turn to.
- To get admission in a Crisis Shelter, you need a referral from:
- Any Family Service Center / hospital social workers
- Generally, the maximum period of stay in a crisis shelter home is three months.
Seeking Legal Protection
The following parties can apply for a Protection Order if they are facing family violence
- spouse or former spouse
- a child, including adopted and step children
- father, mother, in-laws or siblings of the offender
- any other relative or a person who is unable to look after himself or herself, who in the opinion of the court should be regarded as a member
Protection Orders are not available to protect parties in non-marital intimate relationships.