2/3 of se­vere child abuse cases never re­ported: Health and Wel­fare Min­istry

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY MEGAN VAN VEGTEN

In the past two years, there have been 29 cases of do­mes­tic abuse that re­sulted in se­vere in­jury or death, and two-thirds of the cases, or 19 out of the 29, were not re­ported to au­thor­i­ties be­fore the vic­tim’s hos­pi­tal­iza­tion or death, ac­cord­ing to Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare (MOHW, ) statis­tics.

In a re­cent case of abuse, a three-year-old girl died at the hands of her aunt and her live-in part­ner in Hualien County.

Be­cause the girl had not yet started school, teach­ers could not de­tect the abuse or re­port it to law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties. There are no re­ports on record about her abuse or alerts about her high-risk fam­ily sit­u­a­tion.

There were 11,589 peo­ple who suf­fered do­mes­tic abuse last year, and 2,626 of them were six years old or younger, Chang Hsiu-yuan ( ), the direc­tor of pro­tec­tion ser­vices at MOHW, said.

Among the 19 cases that were un­re­ported, about 14 cases in­volved parental abuse or ne­glect. Four cases mir­rored the Hualien case where rel­a­tives or friends were the abusers, Chang said.

She said young chil­dren and teenagers who lack the care of friends, fam­ily and neigh­bors are more likely to suf­fer from domes- tic abuse.

Sit­u­a­tions where child abuse is more likely to oc­cur in­clude when one care­taker has a his­tory of vi­o­lence, when the par­ents are young or suf­fer from men­tal ill­ness and when the chil­dren are dis­abled or pre­ma­ture, the direc­tor said.

The “113 pro­tec­tion line” is a 24-hour public con­sul­ta­tion and in­for­ma­tion child pro­tec­tion ser­vice hot­line.

Its pur­pose is to help by­standers res­cue abused chil­dren and re­move them from vi­o­lent en­vi­ron­ments. In­stant de­tec­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and timely res­cue will hope­fully pro­tect child vic­tims, the MOHW said.

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