In the wake of several recent cases of murders related to domestic abuse, the Ministry of the Interior yesterday urged victims of abuse to seek help from the government or social groups.
Deputy executive secretary of the ministry’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Committee Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛) said the number of cases of domestic violence had increased amid the economic crisis.
As victims are usually reluctant to report the problem, “we often only know about it when tragedies occur,” she said.
Chang said that men who have been unemployed twice or more in five years are three times more likely to become an abuser than those with stable jobs.
“Domestic violence is also three times more likely to happen in families with economic problems than those without,” Chang said.
On Friday, an unemployed man in Kaohsiung killed his wife after she scolded him for not finding a job. The same day, a woman killed her husband as she suspected that he was involved in a relationship with another woman.
“Many victims of domestic violence choose not to seek help because of the influence of traditional social customs,” she said. “So more often than not, victims get hurt very badly, and sometimes their lives can be threatened.”
In some cases, when a victim can no longer tolerate it, he or she chooses to stop it by killing his or her spouse instead of seeking help from the outside.
“Specialists can be found at local county and city governments or police stations,” Chang said. “They provide services such as emergency rescue, medical inspection, resettling victims in a safe place, psychological or legal counseling, as well as employment assistance.”
“If you are a victim, of if you know a victim, call the domestic violence hotline 113,” she said.