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Police helpless to assist wife from estranged husband

A wife currently in the process of divorce with her husband, is unable to seek protection from police from harassment and intimidation.

Kate (not her real name) said that her husband had gone to her unit on several occasion with aggression, demanding her to adhere to his demands and in certain occasions, she had to walk away. Reports to police were not taken to mind, as the police considered the matter as domestic dispute.

She pointed out that her husband had forced her to agree to his terms and condition for the pending divorce which she strongly disagree with.

According to Kate, the terms and conditions set out by her husband are that:

  • To inform the Judge that she is having an affair and for him to take custody of the two kids.
  • If the court were to award custody of the two kids to the wife instead of him, he would not pay anything for the maintenance.
  • she does not apply for a house preceding the divorce so that he can apply for another house himself.

In essential, he was simply asking for a zero dollar divorce from his wife.

The divorce is said to be spurred by prior instances of abuse and escalated when the husband assaulted her in 2014. Kate was subsequently given a Personal Protection Order (PPO) from the courts as a result of the assault.

However, just recently, a police investigation officer, Amelia from Tampines NPC called to inform her that there is a lapse of the Personal Protection Order on 29 July 2016.

The lapse of the PPO was due to Kate being unable to attend the scheduled hearing for its extension and her request to adjourn to another day was rejected.

In fear of her husband's antics, she lodged a police report at Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) on 31 July as she wants to apply for a new PPO.

police report family

Despite knowing that there had been several precedences of her being assaulted with reports from Changi Hospital. Police said they will only deal with the matter if the press is called.

The next day, Kate's estranged husband waited for her at her parent's block. Kate was urged by her friend, Linda (not her real name) to seek the help from police for protection and went to the police station again.

Kate had said to the police, "His harassment and demands affect me mentally even though there is no assault that happened to me."

However, police officers at the Tampines NPC told Kate and Linda to hire their own security if she feels unsafe from her husband and police can not do anything unless she's grievously hurt.

Just this Wednesday, Kate went to the Magistrate Court to file a complaint at 4.30pm but was dismissed by Judge Choo due to "insufficient" evidence as both Police & Tampines Family Service Centre refused to release records of the abuses she suffered under the husband.

Before readers start to question the wife's account of the matter and ask for the husband's point of view. Look at it this way, the wife is not seeking public support to win the custody nor get a huge sum of alimony fees from the divorce, but wishes to highlight the difficulties in getting a PPO from the family justice court despite presenting the issue and also the lack of documentation because of the police's inclination to register her complaints as simply cases of domestic dispute.

As her friend, Linda puts it, "When does the police want to do something about the matter? Only until a life is lost!?"

TOC has since written to the Police for their comments and will include them when they reply. The article is also sent to Tampines Family Centre for their comments.