Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
Member of Parliament, Tanjong Pagar GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many applications for personal protection orders (PPOs) have been made in the last three years; (b) how many orders have been (i) issued and (ii) withdrawn or dismissed; (c) what are the main reasons for the withdrawal or dismissal; and (d) whether there is a plan to streamline the process for the application of PPOs.
1 From 2016 to 2018, the Family Justice Courts (FJC) have received a yearly average of about 2,700 applications under the Women’s Charter for Personal Protection Orders (PPO) against a family member. In the same period, a yearly average of 1,200 PPOs was issued. The rest of the applications were withdrawn, dismissed, or struck out.
2 A PPO may not be granted for various reasons. For example, the Court may dismiss the application if it is not satisfied on a balance of probabilities that family violence has been committed and that a PPO is necessary. An applicant may also withdraw the application, but only with the permission of the Court. This ensures that the applicant is not coerced into doing so.
3 The Ministry of Social and Family Development and FJC work closely to ensure that the PPO application process is simple and accessible. Over the years, we have increased the number of ways to submit an application. An application can be initiated online for greater convenience. An applicant may also walk into the FJC or any of the three Family Violence Specialist Centres, where staff are available to guide the applicant.