Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How to support a person who could be experiencing family violence?


How to support a person/friend who could be experiencing family violence?

1. Notice and identify if there is sign/symptom of family violence.

2. Show that you care. Ask questions if needed to clarify.

3. Listen.

4. Point the person to resources to seek help.

If the person is NOT ready to seek help, show that you care, and find out what is a safe way to pass the information on the resources to the person for his/her future references.

Note: In event of immediate emergency (e.g. when the person experiencing family violence is at immediate risk of danger), please contact the police hotline for assistance as soon as possible.

Reflections that have led to the creation of this video:

Each of us deserves to respect and safety. While many of us take being respected and safe for granted, there are people who experience family violence and live in fear, even in their own homes, behind the closed doors, away from the eyes of the public. 

The issue of family violence is, however, not a new one. When the pandemic in 2020 started, many families experienced additional stress and conflict in having to juggle between familial duties and work commitments, amidst greater uncertainty, spending extended time at home and having lesser time out of their homes to get a breather. 5135 family violence cases were reported in Singapore in the year in 2020 (Source: The Straits Times, 21 Jan 2021). The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, said that there was a 10 percent rise in family violence cases every month between April and December in 2020. The figures could just be the tip of the iceberg. Many instances of family violence may have not been reported.

Realising that the issue of family violence cannot be tolerated and that people experiencing family violence needs support, I came up with a series of video on how to support a person who could be experiencing family violence. The videos were first produced in Mandarin to reach out the Mandarin-speaking audiences. 

I have subsequently created a shorter video in English on this topic. The videos were created to support members of the general public when they suspect that a loved one, a colleague, a friend or even another member of the public could be experiencing family violence.

Each of us can make a difference in our own way. 

It could take up to 3 minutes of your time to watch this video on how to lend support to someone experiencing family violence yet it could tip the balance to that someone's favour and save him/her from being hurt, emotionally and/or physically. 

Do watch the video now if you have not already done so.

Additional Resources:
  • Helplines to call for assistance when experiencing family violence in Singapore:
    • PAVE Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection: 6555 0390
    • TRANS SAFE Centre: 6449 9088
    • Care Corner Project StART: 6476 1482
    • Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6445 0400
    • HEART @ Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6819 9170
    • ComCare hotline: 1800-222 0000
    • The National CARE hotline: 1800-202-6868
If you are a social work professional and/or practitioner practising outside Singapore and know of resources in your locality that could support people who are experiencing family violence, please do share the resources by commenting in the comment section of this post. Thank you. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Stop Cyberbullying: What to do if someone bullies you on social media platforms?


During a conversation with a friend whose child had experienced being bullied, I realised I had taken-for-granted the knowledge and resources that I have learnt as a professional social worker. I didn't realise that most people may not have easy access to the information and resources that I have!

In reality, to arm myself with adequate professional knowledge on the issue of managing situations of being bullied, I had read up books, attended workshops and conferences, so as to keep myself adequately well-informed of the issue. Doing so ensures that I am always ready to support others in such an issue when I am approached for help.

If you are a parent, a teenager or even a child reading this blog, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to put an end to cyberbullying.

You can do so by learning how to respond when someone bullies you on a social media.

The steps are:

Stop, Block (communication with the bully), Save (the evidence), and Tell (a trusted adult)

You deserve respect and peace. If you need more support, please speak to a trusted adult and ask for help to end cyberbullying.

Credits & Acknowledgements:

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Songwriting: Goodbye to what we knew

Perhaps it's time 

That we knew will never be back again

When no hope was left

To mend the broken ones back again

Maybe it's a sign 

To start anew and create something from zero again

Perhaps it's time

We bid farewell to each other forever

I am sorry I could not ever make sense

What could heal that crack between us

Maybe it's a sign

Of a deep space we could hold for one another

Goodbye to what we knew that's so familiar

Goodbye to the yesterday we used to know

Thank you for the memories that we share

Goodbye if we never come back square one again.


When we meet once again in heavens again

Maybe the yesterday we knew was not a time-based reality

But an eternity we have created to heal

All of that rifts in this world we once knew

Goodbye to what we knew that's so familiar

Goodbye to the yesterday we used to know

Thank you for the memories that we share

Goodbye if we never come back square one again.

By Cheng Pei Yun

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bass Line on 4 Apr 2020

Bass Line
4 Apr 2020 Sat, 6.00 p.m.  [CANCELLED]
Conservatory Orchestra Hall (Level 3),
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
National University of Singapore
3 Conservatory Drive
Singapore 117376
Free Admission

Students from the Conservatory's Bass studio, led by Artist Faculty, Guennadi Mouzyka, performs original music and transcriptions for Bass solo and Bass ensemble. For more information, please visit:

Monday, December 30, 2019

Brené Brown's Braving the Wilderness

Title: Braving the Wilderness
Author: Brené Brown
Publisher: Vermilion London (2017)

I was recommended to read this book when I shared that there were times when I felt I had not belonged.

Essentially, the message from the author is:

"True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of somethng and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are."

In this book, which gathered data from the author's research, she outlined that braving the wilderness is the hardest of all calls to courage. Th call was for us to show up and stand up for our beliefs, in civil and respectful ways. The book ends with a quote from Maya Angelou:

"You are only free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great."

Read: Beyond Willpower

Title: Beyond Willpower: The Secret Principle to Achieving Success in Life, Love and Happiness
Author: Alexander Loyd, Ph.D., N.D.
Published by: Harmony Books (2015)

When I was at the library, I was browsing for a book to borrow to read. I somehow picked up this book to read. The author shared his personal story and how he had been transformed by what he termed as 'the Greatest Principle". In a nutshell what is needed to be known is:

"Virtually every problem or lack of happiness and success comes from an internal state of fear in some form - even physical problems. And every internal state of fear results from a deficit of love in relation to that particular issue."

In this book, the author wrote about the 'stress response' mechanism which results from internal fear and causes the release of cortisol that could result in symptoms such as illnesses, pain and so forth.

On the other hand, the author also wrote about the concept of 'internal love which cause the natural release of oxytocin and can programme a person to succeed.

In this book, he outlined steps to lay the foundations of the Greatest Principle.

For a principle that requires regular practice to demonstrate its effectiveness, while I appreciate the author's generosity to share the principles in writing, I would appreciate more to have the support from him personally to practise the principles and test its effectiveness when it is applied to life. Nevertheless, I am thankful to be acquainted to this book.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Edith Sheffer's Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna

Title: Asperger's Children The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna
Author: Edith Sheffer
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (2018)

Edith Sheffer is a historian of Germany and central Europe, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Europen Studies at the University of California, Berkeley at the point of printing of this book. This book will be a must read for anyoen who wants a historical perspective and depth to what is known commonly as the Asperger Syndrome and that of what is commonly referred to as "Autism".

This book carries out a series of investigations of the historical and socio-political context particularly around the period of Nazi Vienna, which could have shaped what we now know as autism.

The author's beloved son wasdiagnosed with autism when he was seventeen months old. Yet he was aganist the idea of autism and the position is: "Autism is not real; we all have issues. However, some are more noticeable than others. Autism is not a diability or diagnosis. It is a stereotype for certain individuals. People with autism should be treated like everyone else, because if they are not, it will make them be even less social...."

Definitely a book that I would recommend all professionals who work with people diagnosed with any form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, for a glimpse of what could be a historical and socio-political context that could have shaped autism.

Personally, I will be curious to find out whether even earlier in history, how societies or cultures view people who could have presented descriptions of behaviours that appear similar to what has been identified today as typically behaviours presented by people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Read: Simone's Aspergirls

Author: Rudy Simone
Title: Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2010)

This is a very accessible book possibly written for females with Asperger Syndrome, their parents, family members, partners, and everyone else. It appears to distinct itself by highlighting that the symptoms and challenges presented by females with Asperger Syndrame are often different from those than males with the same diagnosis. This book is aimed to be a handbook written by "an Aspergirl for Aspergirls".

A very accessible read with a personal perspective for anyone who is curious to read more about this end of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Read: Grandin's The Autistic Brain

Author: Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
Title: The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2013)

An insightful read from Temple Grandin and Richard Panek on the Autistic Brain. The key narrative voice of this book seemed to be that of Temple Grandin who speaks from her personal experiences combined with her understanding of research on autism.

This book sheds light on how neuroimaging and the technology of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging sheds deeper light into the anatomical structures inside the brain, and the likely difference between a neural-typical brain and that of someone who could have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.

I am left with the question, is ASD truly predetermined biologically or influenced by nurture. This remained open for further investigations.

This is one of the books I would recommend a read for an understanding in the topic of ASD.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Read: Singer's The Surrender Experiment

Author: Michael A. Singer
Title: The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life's Perfection
Publisher: Yellow Kite Books

This book was recommended by a friend of mine, and I borrowed it from the library.

The book speaks of the author's personal experiences of his decision to let go of his personal preferences and simply let life call the shots. A radical experience in some ways, and I wonder how much I could embrace a life of total surrender like he has done, to let go of himself.

Whatever it is, I am thankful for the read, and have caught a glimpse of what it could mean to fully surrender to the callings of life itself.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Gedun Chöpel: Tibetan Arts of Love

Author: Gedun Chöpel
Introduced and Translated by: Jeffrey Hopkins, with Dorje Yudon Yuthok
Title: Tibetan Arts of Love
Publisher: Snow Lion, Shambhala Publications Inc (1992).

A friend of mine pointed to me that this was one of the books recommended by the author of another book that I was reading, and I managed to get a loan to this book. This edition is a translation of Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" by Jeffrey Hopkins.

In this edition, Professor Jeffrey Hopkins gave an accessible introduction to the life of Gedun Chöpel. Gedun Chöpel was a former monk considered to be highly controversial. Gedun Chöpel had travelled to India, where he learned Sanskrit and studied the Kama Sutra.

Jeffrey Hopkins pointed and highlight in the introduction how Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" shows sensitivity and concern towards the equality of women. "Treatise on Passion" also discussed on the theme of the sexual pleasure of women and how to achieve it. Other themes that were recurrently discussed in Gedun Chöpel's "Treatise on Passion" were the relationships between sexual pleasure and spiritual insights, the ethic of love, and others.

It was interesting and eye-opening as a female reader to read on this subject matter of love, sex, orgasm and spiritual healing from Gedun Chöpel's perspective. Gedun Chöpel who had once been a monk with vows of celibacy, had travelled and read in depth, exercised independent thinking on the subject matter. It helps to please read this book with the awareness that whatever was written was from a perspective of the writer, Gedun Chöpel, who had practised as a former Tibetan monk, and the socio-cultural background that he was living in. I have found it helpful to first read the introduction by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins to gain some understanding of the context of the worldview of Gedun Chöpel and the references that he has referred to.

Please exercise independent thinking with the awareness that the book was from the lenses of the author and his understanding of the references and texts that he had read, through the translation of another person who did his best to give as close a translation as possible.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Read: Stranger in a Strange Land

Title: Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Publisher: New English Library (1991)

This book is said to be a Science Fiction Classic. I learnt that the edition that I was reading is the original edition that was first conceived and put down on paper by the author, Robert Heinlein.

This science fiction book revolves around the protagonist, Valentine Michael Smith, who is essentially a man who has been brought up as a Martian. Somehow, science fiction book did not appeal to me enough for me to resonate with every page of the book. Nevertheless, I managed to browse through and read the book pretty quickly to get the gist of it.

Possibly, the book's message could be that potentially each of us is God, and that the gift of being human is the right to love?

What struck me was the author's attempt to illustrate how the cultures and worldview of Man and Martians could be so diverse, and to illustrate how the upbringing of a Man raised as a Martians somehow expands the idea of the capacity of what a Man could be.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Read: The Courage to Be Disliked

Title: The Courage To Be Disliked - How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness
Authors: Ichiro Kishmi and Fumitake Koga
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

This book was a recommendation from a friend. It was said to be an enormous bestseller in Asia.

The book is based upon the theories of the Alfred Adler and addressed the notion set in the title of this book by discussing the following key aspects:
1) Deny trauma
2) All problems are interpersonal relationship problems
3) Discard other people's tasks
4) Where the centre of the world is
5) To live in earnest in the here and now

This book is written in a manner that revolves around a conversation between a philosopher and a young man. While I appreciate that this style of writing facilitated the accesibility of reading the book and allowed the subject of Alfred Adler's theories to weave like a conversational dialogue to a lay-person, I somehow found myself reading the entire book and not being able to pinpoint what I have learnt from it. Either I have not fully grasp the messages from this book or I had assimilated the teachings subconsciously.

This may not be the book I would readily pick up again, at least not in the near future.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Read: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Author: Sogyal Rinpoche
Title: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Published in 2017 by Rider

This edition of the book that I was reading is the 25th anniversary edition. A preoccupation with death and a search for the meaning of living had brought me to borrow this book to read.

I possibly have not fully comprehend the depths of this book in a single reading. The book had been such profound to read that at various moments of reading the book, I was tearing and crying from the heart, feeling moved by what I had read.

The author wrote about a question that one of his students asked him "What in your heart of hearts do you really want to happen through this book when it is published?" The author found himself saying "I want every human being not to be afraid of death, or of life; I want every human being to die at peace, and surrounded by the wisest, clearest, and most tender care, and to find the ultimate happiness that can only come from an understanding of the nature of mind and of reality."

From my experience of reading this book, it could open up more exploration on the topic of living and dying. I will not be surprised to find myself referring to this book in the future.