People who are experiencing harassment here in Singapore are now protected by law. The Protection from Harassment Act was implemented in November 2014. First few months of the enforcement (between Nov 15, 2014 to January 7, 2015) and there were about seventy nine complaints for harassment. Apart from that, the court also received thirteen applications for Protection Orders but only three Protection Orders were issued.
The Protection from Harassment Act strives to protect people from harassment and related behaviour. You have to be aware of the Protection from Harassment Act so you know how to act or to proceed. Here are some things you need to know about it:
- Victims can apply directly to the court to request a Protection Order: The Protection Order seeks to stop the harassing action or behaviour. It does not end there because the Protection Order can also hinder the spread of any communications relating to harassment which are published and re-published. If the cases are dire, the court can grant a provisional Expedited Protection Order. If you file a harassment case, it will cost you about S$300-$500. If you cannot afford such, you can look for a financial aid from the Legal Aid Bureau.
- The Act protects victims of any types of harassment: The Act was passed on March 13, 2014. The Act provides criminal and civil resort for harassment victims. This will surely help victims who suffer distress, stalking, fear, distress and any related harassment actions. As of today, the Ministry of Law are gathering insights and details from their counterparts in the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The Act applies also to the cyber world: There are people who think that harassment only happens in the physical world. For your information, harassment can also happen in the cyber world. With this, the Act seeks to protect victims in the cyber world. In fact, the Act will still apply outside of Singapore if the conditions are met.
- There are penalties for any harassment related actions: Harassment is considered heavily. It may mean criminal offences with penalties like fines and jail times. For example, if one is convicted, a fine of not exceeding S$5,000 should be paid. Imprisonment is not exceeding twelve months. In extreme cases, one will incur both.
That should do it. Now you are familiar with Protection from Harassment Act. Whether you become a victim or you are treading that dangerous path, you have to know that no one is above the law. If you have complains, do not hesitate to reach out because it can make a difference at the end of the day.