Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

Personal Protection Order as a Scare Tactic

Personal Protection Order as a Scare Tactic

A woman feels threatened or harassed by her husband. She even suffered physical violence for many years, with broken ribs or bruises from the punches. She kept silent because she wished to keep the family intact for the children or she simply does not wish to agitate the husband. This is classic victim of family violence.

What is Family Violence

Under Section 64 of the Women’s Charter, any of the following acts will amount to “Family Violence”:

  • Willfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
  • Causing hurt to a family member by an act which is known or ought to have been known will result in hurt;
  • Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his/her will; and/or
  • Continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.

However, Family Justice Courts sees a rise in applications for personal protection either by a husband or a wife against each other after one heated argument, or after a tussle.

Most likely than not, when a spouse brings the police into a family fight or entered the court room to seek an order against the other, the marriage is doom to go towards the path of divorce.

When divorce proceedings start, one may think that scaring the other spouse into agreement to all the terms relating to monies, houses, and children would be reached if they use PPO’s route.

For example, a mother who wishes to have the custody, care and control of the children may stage a fight and appeared like a victim. She would “escape” from the family home the next day bringing the children along with her. Not long, she would be at the Family Justice Courts’ personal protection unit applying for a PPO order against the father. The Court would issue an expedited order (EO), which is a temporary order to restrain the husband not to use violence against the wife pending the finality of the application. PPO application costs a nominal S$1 to apply.
What is detrimental to the father in the said scenario would be the huge time lapse between the start of the PPO application and the final order granting or rejecting of the PPO application of the mother, ranging from 6-24 months. During this period, the father may be too afraid to access to the children; or that the mother would use the EO and pending PPO order against him to prevent him from approaching her.
At the same time, the mother could apply for Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO) to exclude the father from entering into the family home or that he be retrained to a part of the house.
The mother’s PPO application can be used as a tool to separate a child from his father. When the father approaches the mother, the mother simply calls the police and claimed that she has been harassed. The father risks being sent into police custody.
During this long period of wait for the ultimate judgment from the PPO court, the impressionable child might have got used to a life without his father, or the mother would impressed upon the child that the father “abandoned” them or have committed heinous crimes against them. Thus, even if the father proves his innocence by the end of the trial, harm would have been caused to the child.

Who is the winner in this sage?

– father won Olympic gold victory at the PPO court having proved his innocence;
– mother lost in the trial and have to pay legal costs to the father;
– child lost the love of the father, or even lose respect for both father and mother.

The above is all at the cost of the child’s wellbeing.

The Family Justice Courts, like other adversarial court system has to conduct due process to every case that comes before it. However, to prove falsehoods and false narratives of the supposed family violence victims, it takes human resources, time and money.

If a person is in such danger zone of being falsely accused as a family violence perpetrator, it is prudent, not just wise to consult an expert personal protection family lawyer’s advice as soon as practicable. Whoever strikes first using PPO as a tactic may indeed have certain upper hand, unless you are someone who retaliates and has the resources and funds to retaliate.

If you wish to apply for Personal Protection Order of you have received a Summon from PPO court to appear in court to answer to the charges, please call Yeolaw family lawyers on 62203400 to arrange for an immediate discussion. With years of experience acting for either side of the PPO and DEO application, we will be apt to advice you to protect your legal rights.

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