Tue, Jan 25, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letters

On the fate of little Chiu

The recent case of "little Chiu," a four-year-old victim of child abuse, shows how serious domestic violence is in our society. As head of the Garden of Hope women and children's welfare group, I must raise a few points that seem to have been overlooked in most reports of the case.

Despite anything that happened after the child was hurt, the girl's father is the one responsible for her injuries. Perhaps we should be asking for a review of how custody can be awarded to a violent parent. The girl's mother has been criticized for not protecting her daughter, but we must remember that she was also a victim of her ex-husband's abuse, and had divorced him and limited her contact with the family because of this abuse.

The girl's father had been the victim of domestic violence when he was young. Now, their daughter has died because of abuse by him. This shows one way domestic violence is passed on to the next generation and harms our whole society. The saying, "Sweep the snow from your doorstep and ignore the ice on your neighbor's roof" applies here: People are encouraged to mind their own business. Unfortunately, it also means that people are unwilling to be concerned with matters outside of their own family.

The abuse of Chiu was not an isolated incident. The girl had been the victim of abuse on other occasions. If the girl's neighbors had been more active in this case and had informed the authorities, then social work assistance might have reached the family earlier.

Unfortunately, Chiu will not be the last child to suffer abuse. We need to educate the public, so that people realize it is everyone's responsibility to protect children in our own community.

I would like to remind readers that domestic violence is not a "family matter" to be kept behind closed doors. Domestic violence harms our whole society. It is illegal and should be reported. The emergency hotline number is 113.

The Garden of Hope also has a domestic violence counseling service on (02) 2304-9595.

Chi Hui-jung

Garden of Hope Foundation

It saddens me tremendously to learn that another child has died of abuse. This little girl is not the first one to lose her young life to domestic violence. I urge the government to legislate as soon as possible against this kind of behavior.

Disciplining children should not involve physical violence. It is especially shameful when parents or guardians vent their anger by beating young children. I have read in the news many times that young children were beaten to death by their parents or guardians. This is unacceptable and must not be tolerated in a civilized country.

Miguel Tu

Canada

A suggestion for Soong

With respect to negotiations between the Democratic Progressive Party and the People First Party (PFP), which promise stable government for Taiwan and with that improvement in relations with the US, as an American I would like to make a recommendation.

I would urge PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to consider the example of one of our best educated and most accomplished presidents, John Quincy Adams, who was humiliatingly defeated for a second term by Andrew Jackson in 1828. Upon this Adams returned to his native Massachusetts and was elected to the House of Representatives, where he continued to serve his country, not as president, but as a humble congressman.

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