PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT 2014

Under POHA, victims of harassment (be it online or otherwise) may apply to Court for a protection order if their grievances satisfy two criteria.HARASSMENT ACT SINGAPORE

PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT 2014 – WHAT CAN I DO IF SOMEONE IS HARASSING ME?

 .

In Singapore, harassment is governed by the Protection from Harassment Act 2014 (“POHA”).

In recognition of the fact that today’s rapidly changing technological landscape is presenting cyberbullies with enhanced platforms to harass others, the Singapore Government introduced a new piece of legislation specifically designed to combat this, as well as provide the previous framework with a much-needed overhaul.

Under POHA, victims of harassment (be it online or otherwise) may apply to Court for a protection order if their grievances satisfy two criteria.

Firstly, the Defendant’s actions must fall within one of the following five descriptions:

  • Use of threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour, words or communication with the intent of causing harassment, alarm or distress;
  • Use of threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour, words or communication which is likely to cause the victim harassment, alarm or distress when seen, heard or otherwise perceived;
  • Use of threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour with the intent of causing the victim to believe that they will be the subject of violence or with the aim of provoking violence from the victim, in which case the behaviour, words or communication must also be likely to cause this belief or provoke this reaction;
  • Use of indecent, threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour, words or communication to a public servant or public service worker in relation to the execution of their duties; and
  • Unlawful or improper stalking.

Secondly, the Plaintiff must also show that the Defendant’s behaviour as described above is likely to continue, or that there is likely to be an escalation of the Defendant’s behaviour that also falls within one of the above criteria.

Having considered the above, the Court will then proceed to issue a protection order if doing so would be just and equitable in all the circumstances.

In this regard, protection orders are a strong deterrent against harassment, as they allow for the Defendant to be fined up to $5,000 or jailed, should he/she be reported to the police in contravention of the protection order. Furthermore, POHA also provides for enhanced penalties for subsequent offenders, ensuring that harassers are strongly deterred from repeating their actions.

Notwithstanding the above, POHA also allows victims to bring civil actions against their harassers. In such proceedings, if the Court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the Defendant’s actions fall within one of the above criteria as alleged by the victim, the Court may award such damages in respect of the contravention as the Court may, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, think just and equitable.

 .

ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW

At PKWA Law, our team of Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore family lawyers by respected independent legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers. 

Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation if you need protection from harassment.

 .

Have a question? Contact PKWA Law today for your free consultation.
Call Us At +65 6854 5336
(Family Law)
Call Us At +65 6397 6100
(Conveyancing)
Email Us At mail@pkwalaw.com