The Taskforce on Family Violence was set up in February last year to develop a comprehensive understanding of the family violence landscape in Singapore, and to bring together various stakeholders to develop recommendations. Comprising members from social service agencies, non-governmental organisations, the courts, hospitals and government agencies, the task force engaged other stakeholders to support both survivors and perpetrators of family violence better. Its recommendations, which were released last week, focus on the need to intervene upstream to prevent the occurrence of such violence and, at the same time, address downstream concerns and pain-points if violence does take place.
The four main thrusts of the proposals are to increase awareness, strengthen societal attitudes against family violence, and enhance preventive efforts for those at risk; make it easier for survivors and the community to report family violence and get immediate help; strengthen protection and support for survivors to reduce their risk of being harmed again; and increase the accountability of perpetrators and strengthen their rehabilitation. This is a holistic approach to a problem that often remains under the surface because the family is considered private space into which public intervention should be minimal. But perpetrators of family violence cannot be allowed to hide behind the privilege of privacy.