On 27 October 2016, Ms. Azlin Arujunah, 24, was charged with the murder of her son. The boy died one day after Ms. Arujunah allegedly splashed hot water on him repeatedly. The boy’s 3 siblings have been placed under foster care by the Child Protective Service temporarily.
See: Elena Chong, “Woman charged with murder of 5-year-old son”, The Straits Times, 27 October 2016
The child’s life journey had concluded before it even began. There are many “what ifs”. Were there tell-tale signs? What if there were tell-tale signs and someone did something about it? Could the boy have been saved? Could he still be alive?
Having represented many divorce clients over the past years, I understand that the divorce process is a traumatic, emotionally draining and stressful one. This is especially so if there are children involved. Sometimes, out of depression or stress, a parent may act irrationally and vent his/ her frustration on an innocent child.
Should this happen, the other parent/ relative of the child should alert the authorities so as to prevent the occurrence of unfortunate events like what happened in Ms. Arujunah’s case.
A police report should be lodged and medical reports (if any) should be obtained. The applicant should also make an application for personal protection order (PPO) on behalf of the child at the Family Justice Courts. The Court has the power to make a range of other orders (such as a domestic exclusion order) against the offender. A protection order will not result in the offender being put behind bars but it will go some way in protecting the child against violence.
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