Thu, Apr 23, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Father accused of killing daughter with broomstick

By Jenny W. Hsu, Flora Wang and Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

KMT Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) agreed with Wu, saying that the legislature should debate Chiu’s proposal.

But KMT legislators Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) and Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) both voiced support for Chiu’s suggestion.

“Introducing severe punishments ... would help prevent similar cases from happening again,” Lo said.

Also yesterday, civic groups urged amendments to the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act (兒童及少年福利法) to include grassroots officials such as borough and village chiefs as part of the child abuse prevention network.

“Since 2005, 86 children have been wounded and 70 killed as a result of abuse. The death toll for this year alone has reached five as of today,” Children’s Welfare League Foundation executive director Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference at the legislature yesterday.

Wang, along with Women’s Rescue Foundation chairman Kevin Liao (廖英智), executive director Cynthia Kao (高小晴) and Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如) and Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), observed a minute’s silence for the deceased children before the press conference started.

“These are all cases in which children were hurt before the government could stop it. This means that there are loopholes in the child abuse prevention network,” she said. “We need someone at the community level in the network.”

Only police, teachers, medical personnel and social workers are allowed to report possible child abuse cases.

Chen supported Wang’s suggestion, saying that borough, village and neighborhood chiefs should be part of the network.

“If we have laws making borough and neighborhood chiefs responsible for helping the elderly or the physically and mentally challenged, why can’t we put them in charge of reporting possible child abuse cases?” Chen said.

Chen also suggested that couples be required to attend children education courses and anger management classes after getting married. The two lawmakers both vowed to push for amendments to the law.

Commenting on Chiu’s suggestion to revise the law to provide more severe penalties for killing one’s child, Liao said that preventative measures, rather than penalties, are more important and more effective.

“We hope to strengthen the social network to give children more support,” Liao said. “But penalties won’t achieve the objective.”

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