Harassment is a common crime in almost every part of the world. Even the safest countries like Singapore has records of Harassment. Harassment in Singapore – be it in real life or via online means is still considered an offense under Singapore Law.
The Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) was introduced in 2014 and members of the public now have a channel to file a complaint or seek remedies when they face harassment. Harassment can fall into various categories such as violence, abuse, insults, threats, stalking, and provocation, all of which may cause alarm or anguish to the receiving party.
Stalking, which we may joke about with friends and family, can also be considered an act of harassment as it may trigger fear or the unsettling feeling in the party being stalked. Also, others acts such as loitering in places, trying to communicate or following a person can represent as stalking.
Before taking any actions against someone who has harassed you, do consider mediating the issues as you may be able to solve things easier that way.
If things don’t resolve with them, you may seek legal remedies for an effective solution. As a victim of harassment, you can apply for a protection order. However, they are categorized in different orders and certain instances may not apply to your present situation. For example, if you were harassed by stalkers, moneylenders and at the receiving end of insults, you can apply for a protection order.
In other cases which are more common these days – such as false statements in social media postings, you can apply for an order that demands the party involved to remove the online postings. The Protection Order can assist to stop the spread of accusations.
As a complainant, you can apply for a Protection Order at the Family Justice Courts located at 3 Havelock Square, Singapore 059725. Once you have filed the order, you are to affirm that all the statements of your application are correct. False statements from your application are considered a serious offense. If it is successful, an order will be issued to the responders’ address you stated.
If the certain person continues with the harassment even after you’ve filed an order, you can report it to the police. A Breach of Protection Orders is an offence.
As a last (and most expensive) resort, you can sue the harasser for any damages (mental stress, fear, damage to property if any etc.) . In such instances, it is always better to consult a lawyer first.