Domestic Violence during COVID-19 – Solutions for Affected Individuals

Domestic Violence during COVID-19 – Solutions for Affected Individuals

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As people have been working from home for weeks now and with children being schooled from home, things can get tense in the family home, especially in the small spaces we share in Hong Kong. A number of articles in South China Morning Post, BBC, and CNN have featured articles indicating that there is an uptick in domestic violence cases as people shelter in place.

In urgent situations, we recommend that people contact the authorities for assistance. For those who need other forms of assistance, there is relief in the Domestic and Cohabitation

Relationships Violence Ordinance (“DCRVO” or the “Ordinance“), which came into force on 1 January 2010 for the purpose of providing “protection of persons from violence in domestic and cohabitation relationships”.

The DCRVO covers domestic violence between spouses, former spouses, cohabitants, and relatives. Same sex partners are also covered under the DCRVO.

Before granting an order under the Ordinance, the court must be satisfied that the person applying for an order (Applicant) has been “molested”. This word is normally given a wide interpretation: in addition to physical and sexual assault, vexing, pestering, and annoying behaviour are all words that have been used to describe molestation.

Under the Ordinance, there are three orders that can be made: non-molestation, ouster, and re-entry.

Re-entry Order

A re-entry order commands that the Respondent – the person against whom the order is being sought – permit the Applicant to enter and remain in a location. This order would apply in a situation where the Applicant has left the family home, for example, and wants to return, but the Respondent refuses to allow the Applicant back into the home.

Ouster Order

An ouster order restrains the Respondent from entering or remaining in the family home or other specified area in the home. In this situation the Respondent would not be allowed inside the family home at all or would be barred from entering certain locations, such as the Applicant’s bedroom.

Non-molestation Order

A non-molestation order restrains the Respondent from molesting the Applicant. When issuing a non-molestation order, the court can order a Respondent to participate in a programme aimed at changing his/her “attitude and behaviour”, such as training on anger management or alcohol abuse.

It is important to note that, statistically speaking, women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, but men made up approximately 15% of reported cases in Hong Kong in 2018.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and your situation is urgent, call the police for assistance on 999. For non-urgent situations, you may consult community resources where free or low cost resources are available. In addition, we at JC Legal are available to discuss your concerns in confidence in Cantonese, Mandarin, or English.

Community Resources

Judiciary and Government

Family Court Registry
Address: M2, Wanchai Law Courts, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2840 1218
Fax: 2523 9170
E-mail: familycourt@judiciary.hk
Website

Legal Aid Department
Telephone: 2537 7677
Fax: 2537 5948
E-mail: ladinfo@lad.gov.hk
Website | Opening Hours

Social Welfare Department – Victim Support Programme for Victims of Family Violence
Address: Flat 102-107, G/F, Choi Lam House, Tsui Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O
Telephone: 2894 8896
Fax: 2894 8038
Email: victimsupport@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website

Organisations supporting female victims

Harmony House
Harmony House is a temporary shelter and safe retreat for women victims. Most residents stay for two (2) weeks, but under special circumstances, the stay may extend up to three (3) months.
24-hour hotline: 2522 0434
Website

Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre
24-hour hotline: 18288
Website

Po Leung Kuk – Wai On Home for Women
Telephone: 2793 0223
Fax: 2790 6369
Email: waion@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website

Po Leung Kuk – Sunrise Court
Telephone: 2890 8330
Fax: 2890 8408
Email: sunrisecourt@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website

Po Leung Kuk – Dawn Court
Telephone: 2243 3210
Fax: 2243 3018
Email: dawncourt@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website

Organisations supporting male victims

Social Welfare Department – Victim Support Programme for Victims of Family Violence
Address: Flat 102-107, G/F, Choi Lam House, Tsui Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O
Telephone: 2894 8896
Fax: 2894 8038
Email: victimsupport@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website

Harmony House
Telephone: 2295 1386
Website

Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre
24-hour hotline: 18288
Website

Organisations supporting lesbian victims

Les Corner
Telephone/Whatsapp: 5281 5201
Email: lescorner2015@gmail.com
Website | Facebook

Organisations supporting gay victims

Harmony House
Telephone: 2295 1386
Website

Rainbow of Hong Kong
Telephone: 2769 1069
Fax: 2769 1010
Email: info@rainbowhk.org
Website

Kimberly practices Family Law in Hong Kong at JC Legal. She is also licensed in the State of New York where she worked as a litigator in the federal court system as an Assistant Attorney General. Kimberly’s other passion is training. She has conducted hundreds of hours of risk management, legal drafting, and management training in the Greater China area.

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Disclaimer: The article is for reference only and should not be construed or relied on as legal advice in whatsoever manner. Please engage a solicitor to seek formal legal advice. LegalClarus does not provide legal advice.

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