The Women’s Charter has legislation in place to protect all victims against family violence, regardless of their gender. For example, a victim has the option to apply for a Personal Protection Order from the Family Court. The Personal Protection Order (PPO) serves to stop the abuser from using violence against the victim.
A guardian, relative, caregiver or another person, as appointed by the Minister, can make an application for a PPO for the following groups of victims:
- Persons below 21 years
- Persons with mental or physical disability
- Person of ill-health or old age
The person can also apply for a Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO) that will grant the right of exclusive occupation to the applicant by excluding the person against whom the application is made from the shared residence. This is regardless of whether the shared residence is solely owned or leased by the applicant.
In cases where the Court is satisfied that the applicant is in imminent danger of family violence, it may grant an Expedited Order (EO). The EO is an immediate order granted and is valid for 28 days before the Protection Order (PO) except for mandatory counselling, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable
on conviction for a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
The Court may also grant a Mandatory Counselling Order, referring the person against whom the order is made, or the protected person, or both and/or their children to attend counselling sessions provided by an agency approved by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), or as the Court may direct.