Protection against family violence

You may file an application for a personal protection order (PPO) in the Family Courts to protect yourself or a family member from violence caused by another family member.

Your family member or you can be protected from family violence against a family member who is related to you.

Refer to the following to find out who you can file a PPO against in the Family Courts.

You can file against...

You cannot file against...

  • Your father or mother.
  • Your brothers or sisters.
  • Your spouse or former spouse.
  • Your father-in-law or mother-in-law.
  • Your child, including an adopted child or stepchild.
  • Any other relative who in the court's opinion should be regarded as a member of your family, given the circumstances.


  • Your partner to whom you are not married to.
  • Your former parents-in-law.
  • Any other relative whom the court does not regard as a member of your family.
 Note: The examples in the table are not exhaustive.
You can file an application to protect yourself, your children under 21 years of age or an incapacitated adult family member from family violence if:

  • You are 21 years of age and above.
    • If you are an incapacitated person, a guardian, relative or person responsible for your care, or any person appointed by the Minister may make the application to protect you on your behalf.
  • You are under 21 years of age and are married or have been previously married.
    • You can only file an application for yourself, your child (including an adopted child or a stepchild) below 21 years of age or a relative below 21 years of age whom you are responsible for the care of.
  • You are under 21 years of age and not married and a family member who is 21 years of age and above is able to file an application on your behalf.

File a personal protection order application step-by-step

This is the process of filing a PPO application.

If you are filing the PPO application, you are the applicant (also known as the complainant).

If you have a PPO application made against you, you are the respondent. Find out more about what you should do to Respond to a personal protection order application.

Before filing

Understand personal protection orders

Find out what are the types of orders the court can make to protect a family member from family violence and the consequences for breaching these orders.

When filing

File a personal protection order application

You can file a PPO application in person at any Protection Specialist Centres (PSC) or at the Family Protection Centre (FPC) located in the Family Justice Courts.

Alternatively, you may submit a draft application and documents online before heading down to the FPC or an PSC.

Resolving the dispute

Attend court mentions

After the application is made and the summons accepted by the respondent, both you and the respondent must attend a court session known as a court mention. How the application proceeds further will depend on what happens at the court mention.

Attend counselling or hearing

If the respondent does not consent to the application at the court mention, the court may refer the respondent and you to counselling or give directions to prepare parties to proceed for a hearing scheduled at a later date.

After an order is made

File an appeal, if needed

If you are not satisfied with the order made by the court at the end of the hearing, you may appeal to the Family Division of the High Court.

You do not need a lawyer to file for a PPO application at the FJC. However, you may choose to engage one if you need to seek legal advice or wish to be represented at the court mentions or the hearing.

The courts are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. Find out where to get help.


Refer to Personal Protection Order under the Women's Charter - The Essentials:

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