30 per cent rise in enquiries to MSF on family conflicts

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There has been a 30 per cent increase in the average number of enquiries to the Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF's) adult and child protective services in the post-circuit breaker month, compared with during the circuit breaker.

The higher number can be attributed to stepped-up outreach efforts by the ministry and its partners during the circuit breaker. Those who were unable to seek help during the circuit breaker were also coming forward now, said Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee yesterday.

"Enquiries include those related to tension within the family, marital conflicts and disputes; only a few involved an actual incidence of violence," he said.

"Thus, the number of new cases investigated by the adult and child protective services increased marginally by 5 per cent post-circuit breaker. The monthly admissions to crisis shelters have also remained stable," Mr Lee added.

He gave this update in a Facebook post where he wrote about his visit to the Casa Raudha Women Home, a crisis shelter for women and their children who are victims of family violence.

Family violence has been rising since circuit breaker measures kicked in on April 7. There were 476 police reports filed for offences commonly associated with family violence from April 7 to May 6, a 22 per cent increase compared with the month before.

This is because individuals and families may have experienced more stress during the circuit breaker, which could potentially lead to violence, said an inter-agency task force on April 23.

The task force was set up in February to address the problem of violence within families and to give better support to victims.- THE STRAITS TIMES