All You Need To Know About Personal Protection Orders In Singapore

All You Need To Know About Personal Protection Orders In Singapore

What Is A Personal Protection Order?

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is an order by the court to protect a person who is being subjected to family violence by a family member. In Singapore, "family violence" has a specific legal definition and is defined under Section 64 of the Women’s Charter (WC) as:-

  • wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
  • causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
  • wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will; or
  • causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.

In relation to Section 64 of the WC, the definition of ‘hurt’ is the infliction of bodily pain, disease or infirmity on a family member, and a family member in this case can be considered as any of the following:-

  • Your spouse or former spouse;
  • Your child, including an adopted child and a step-child;
  • Your parent;
  • Your father-in-law or mother-in-law;
  • Your brother or sister; or
  • any other relative or an incapacitated person who in the opinion of the court should, in the circumstances, in either case be regarded as a member your family.

When the court grants a PPO, it restrains the person against whom the order is made from committing family violence against you.

Are You Able To Make An Application For A Personal Protection Order?

You may file for an application for a PPO if you are:

  • Above 21 years old – you can file for yourself and your minor children
  • Below 21 years old – you can file for yourself and your minor children if you are married or have been married before.
  • An incapacitated person – your guardian, relative or whoever is responsible for your care will then have to file for you.

The Process Of Getting A Personal Protection Order

You (the Complainant) can file for a PPO application to protect yourself from family violence by a family member (the Respondent) at the following places:

  • Family Justice Courts (FJC)
  • Family Protection Centre (FPC)
  • Family Violence Specialist Centre (FVSC)

Upon filing of the PPO, a case will be created and scheduled for a Mention, where both the Complainant as well as the Respondent will be required to attend. The Respondent will be issued with a summons, and will have to turn up in Court for the Mention.

In Court

If the Respondent consents

The Judge may direct both Respondent and Applicant to attend counseling sessions, and to engage lawyers (if necessary). The Respondent may choose to consent to the PPO and if so, the PPO will be issued.

If the Respondent does not consent

The PPO will not be granted, and the Judge will adjourn the case. The Judge will direct the Applicant and Respondent to prepare the necessary documents for a hearing that will be fixed in accordance with the Judge's directions and when all the documents are ready.

At the hearing, both the Applicant and Respondent (or their lawyers) will present their case to the judge, who will either grant the PPO or dismiss the application.

Types of Orders

Apart from the Personal Protection Order, the court is able to make other types of orders that can protect a person from family violence such as:

An Expedited Order (EO)

An EO is a temporary PPO issued when there is an application for a PPO pending, and where there is imminent danger of violence being committed by the Respondent. The EO will be ordered as a safegurd measure that lasts for 28 days up to the date of the hearing for the PPO.

A Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO)

A DEO excludes the Respondent from a family residence at which the parties have been living together. The DEO can exclude the Respondent from all or part of the residence.

A Counseling Order (CO)

A Counseling Order refers the parties applying for a PPO to undergo counselling sessions. This may also include the parties' children. Counseling sessions are usually conducted at a family support agency and the Court will usually assess the progress of the counseling, and may either continue the order for counseling or discharge the order if parties have made good progress.

First Steps If You Are A Victim Of Family Violence

If you are a victim of family violence, you should:

  • Seek medical treatment if necessary;
  • Make a police report if necessary;
  • Contact the FPC or FVSC for assistance; and
  • Decide if you want to apply for a PPO.


If you are contemplating your options with respect to a personal protection order and/or a divorce, we can assist. Just get in touch with us through our contact form below and we will follow up with you regarding your matter.

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Filed under: Divorce
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