4 July 2017
Mr Christopher de Souza
MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development how does the Ministry protect women who suffer from domestic abuse or emotional violence and work with NGOs to help rehabilitate these vulnerable persons so as to encourage them to gradually reintegrate into society, school and work.
1 Protecting women experiencing physical or emotional abuse requires a strong partnership among Government agencies and community partners. My Ministry works closely with the Singapore Police Force, the Singapore Prisons Service, the Family Justice Courts, hospitals and community agencies to offer help to victims through the National Family Violence Networking System (NFVNS). The NFVNS was established more than 20 years ago and enables victims to receive assistance at various touch points, including Family Service Centres and Family Violence Specialist Centres. Interventions offered include counselling, group therapy and helping victims work out a suitable safety plan, with a view to reintegrate them back to the community. Where necessary, victims will receive temporary accommodation at crisis shelters. If needed, the victim will be referred for financial, housing, employment or child-care assistance. Those who require legal protection from an abusive family member may apply for a Personal Protection Order. The Court may also order the perpetrator and affected family members to receive counselling.
2 Domestic violence is not a private matter. In November 2016, I launched the three-year "Break the Silence | Against Family Violence" campaign to renew and raise awareness of family violence. This campaign involves MSF collaborating with non-government organisations and corporate partners, to equip bystanders with resources and skills to safely step in to help victims. This is done through initiatives such as roving community roadshows and training sessions.
3 No one should endure abuse in silence. All of us, as family members, friends and neighbours, can play a part to report abuse and seek help for those affected by violence.