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Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) – What You Should Know

3 min read

Harassment is behaviour towards a person that causes mental or emotional suffering. This includes repeated unwanted contacts without reason, publication of martial online, information to 3rd parties by email or letter, work place bullying, physical & online stalking, phone texts, insults, threats, touching and offensive language.

Are you being:

  • Bullied online?
  • Stalked?
  • Harassed within  or outside your workplace?
  • Do you need it to stop?

Fret Not, help is now here for you.

Do you know that…

The Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) criminalizes, among other things, cyber bullying, unlawful stalking and harassment within and out of the workplace. As there was no Singapore legislation dealing directly with harassment previously, harassment was not illegal per se and recourse had to be sought via other areas of law such as tort of harassment, defamation, assault and battery.

What does Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) protect you from?
  • Any threatening, abusive or insulting communication which causes harassment, alarm or distress to you
  • Any act causing fear or provocation of violence towards you
  • Unlawful stalking (which includes acts such as following, making any communication or attempting to make communication with you, loitering near your home or office or any place often frequented by you)

How Gloria James-Civetta & Co can help you
  • If you are harassed and stalked, we can help you to apply for a Protection Order to stop the person from engaging in such conduct.
  • If you wish to stop the person from publishing an offensive statement, we can help you in your application for a Non-Publication Order
  • If you intend to sue a harasser or stalker for monetary compensation, we can aid you in commencing a civil action against him or her.
  • If you intend to pursue criminal sanctions against a harasser or stalker, we can advise you further on applying for a Magistrate’s Complaint.
  • Contact or call us for advice.

How does Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) Court Order protect you?
  • Directs the harasser to stop the harassing behaviour.
  • Puts a stop to the spread of harassing communication by others who re-publish the communication.
  • Grant a temporary Expedited Protection Order on the spot to provide you immediate protection and relief with a peace of mind.
What if my harasser makes false statements and publishes false statement on social media (Facebook, websites), what can I do?
  • You will need to lodge a police report
  • Then file a Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) application
  • We will attend court with you to seek recourse on your behalf before the Court
  • And upon successfully proving to the Court that such statements against you are false, the Court can direct the publication of a suitable notification which alerts readers that the statements are false. [Subject to Court’s discretion]
  • We will write a letter to the website to bring down the post
  • We can also seek a written apology (if the court allows) from the harasser
What if my harasser/stalker/bully lives overseas? Can I seek a Protection Order from the Court?
  • Yes you can apply for an order against someone living in Singapore or overseas or even online!
  • Subject to meeting the prerequisite condition ie that the harasser/stalker/bully knows that you are living in Singapore and is at Singapore, at the time the offence took place.
What punishment does my harasser/stalker/bully face?
  • Breach of the Protection Order will lead to a criminal prosecution
  • Prescribed Punishment of not more than $5,000 fine or not more than imprisonment of 12 months or both

RELATED ARTICLE: The Protection from Harassment Bill in Singapore

What can we do for you?

Should you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our criminal representation lawyers at 6337 0469 or email us at consult@gjclaw.com.sg

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