Thu, Nov 25, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Civic group lobbies for children living in abusive households

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Children who witness domestic violence need proper care, the Garden of Hope Foundation stressed yesterday.

"Without proper treatment, children who witness domestic violence may later turn into abusers themselves," the foundation's executive director Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) said.

At a press conference yesterday, the foundation displayed some drawings done by children from abusive households. The pictures revealed the inner fears and struggles the children experience when they witness violence at home.

"Two characteristics of these drawings are worth noting: the child who witnessed the violence presents himself or herself as a tiny figure; the abuser is portrayed to be urinating while carrying out violence acts," Chi said.

Chi explained that the tiny figure represents helplessness and lack of self-confidence, while the urination was a means of shaming the abuser.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, about 8,000 cases of children in domestic violence situations were reported to the authorities between January and June this year, which equals the total number of cases reported during the whole of last year.

"We we want to offer counseling not only to traumatized children, but also hope to reach out to other family members with a comprehensive program," said Stephen Tsai (蔡本源), a division director of the Children's Bureau under the Ministry of the Interior.

Tsai said that this year's budget for children's welfare programs was NT$40 million, and the proposal to double this by next year is pending at the Legislative Yuan.

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