Efforts to detect signs and symptoms of family violence ramped up
More people are reporting possible incidents of family violence as the Government ramps up efforts to raise awareness and detection of the issue, including training pharmacy staff to detect signs of abuse in customers.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF) Adult and Child Protective services saw a 25 per cent increase in the monthly average number of inquiries post-circuit breaker, in the months of June to September, compared with during April and May.
Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development as well as Education, said the increase in inquiries is in part due to members of the public being more vigilant in reporting possible incidents.
But she noted that the number of incidents investigated from January to September this year remains at a monthly average of 118.
Speaking at the National Family Violence Networking System Conference held virtually yesterday, Ms Sun announced that MSF is partnering Unity pharmacies to detect signs and symptoms of family violence.
It will train 46 staff members of the FairPrice-owned chain, which has more than 60 stores islandwide.
Unity pharmacists will undergo training today to better identify possible victims of family violence.
"This can help widen and strengthen our community detection efforts and provide additional touch points to direct potential victims to help channels," said Ms Sun, addressing about 500 experts and practitioners from various sectors, who also discussed collaborative approaches to family protection at the conference.
Besides the partnership with Unity, MSF has partnered religious organisations such as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and the Presbyterian Church in Singapore to conduct training on family violence awareness.
Ms Sun said the ministry is also working with businesses to conduct outreach on the topic.
During the extended circuit breaker, which started in April, the newly formed inter-agency task force on family violence noted that individuals and families may be experiencing more stress, which could lead to violence.