Fri, Jul 09, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Child abuse rates are highest in the summer: group

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families yesterday kicked off a donation drive at Family Co, Ltd convenience stores nationwide to increase awareness of child abuse issues in the country.

"We are having the drive right now because July and August are the high season for child abuse," said CCF executive director Chen Pang-hung (陳邦弘).

Because child-parent interaction increases during the summer months, the potential for child abuse increases during July and August, Chen said.

Summer heat adds to the socio-economic pressures such as unemployment and often inflames parents' tempers, potentially leading to abuse, he added.

The foundation pointed to Ministry of the Interior child abuse case figures from the past two years, which showed that the number of reported abuse cases historically hit their peak from August to September.

"Abuse is seldom reported in the beginning of summer; reports tend to go up instead during the first couple of months of school because school authorities will notice evidence of abuse and report it," Chen said.

The foundation also emphasized that number of reported cases of child abuse are increasing each year. The number of abuse cases from January to March stood at 1,849 this year, an increase of 500 cases compared to last year.

"Parents have become moodier and more unstable in recent years because of bad economic conditions and increasing poverty, Chen said.

Foundation statistics from last year ranked a lack of parenting skills as the leading cause of abuse, playing a rolein 58.2 percent of all cases. Marital problems (41.6 percent), poverty (33.43 percent), and abuse stemming from psychological problems (30.1 percent) also topped the list.

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