MSF receiving more enquiries on family and marital conflicts post-circuit breaker

Family violence has been on the rise since circuit breaker measures kicked in on April 7, 2020. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There has been a 30 per cent increase in the average number of enquiries to the Ministry of Social and Family Development's adult and child protective services in the post-circuit breaker month (from June 2), compared with the circuit breaker.

The increase in enquiries can be attributed to stepped-up outreach efforts by the ministry and its partners during the circuit breaker and those who were unable to seek help during that period coming forward now, said Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday (July 6).

"Enquiries include those related to tension within the family, marital conflicts and disputes; only a few involved an actual incidence of violence," he said.

"Thus, the number of new cases investigated by the adult and child protective services increased marginally by 5 per cent post-circuit breaker. The monthly admissions to crisis shelters have also remained stable," he added.

Mr Lee was giving this update in a Facebook post, where he wrote about his visit to Casa Raudha Women Home, a crisis shelter that provides refuge for women and their children who are victims of family violence.

Family violence has been on the rise since circuit breaker measures kicked in on April 7. There were 476 police reports filed for offences commonly associated with family violence from April 7 and May 6, a 22 per cent increase compared with the month before.

This is because individuals and families may experience more stress amid the circuit breaker, which could potentially lead to violence, said an inter-agency task force on April 23.

The task force was set up in February to address the problem of violence within families and to give better support to victims. It is co-chaired by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.

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