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: