Approximately 50 percent of children that appeared in the news in major child abuse cases this year were victims of sexual abuse, a local children’s group said yesterday, calling for action to protect the nation’s children.
Out of the 350 major child abuse cases that were reported in the news nationwide, 49.18 percent, or 150 of them, were sexual abuse cases, said Betty Ho (何素秋), deputy director of the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, which drew attention to the worst 10 child abuse cases this year at a press conference.
The number of reports involving sexual assaults on children has been on the rise over the past five years, reaching up to 62.81 percent of all cases of sexual assault reported nationwide in the first nine months of this year, Ho said, citing the Ministry of the Interior’s statistics.
In addition, the number of confirmed sexual assault cases on children also increased by 1,903, or 51.06 percent, from last year, she said.
Moreover, sexual assault was the most common type of child abuse in the news this year after physical abuse and gross negligence, while it was only the third-most common in 2006, she said.
Childcare, judicial and medical experts who selected this year’s 10 worst cases called for more courses to teach children and young people how to protect themselves, as well as urging the public to actively intervene and report such cases and to spread the idea that children are not the “property” of their parents.
Four of the worst 10 cases this year were sexual assaults, four were physical abuse cases, one involved a mother setting fire to herself after killing three of her children and another involved a nine-year-old girl advertising online that she would have sex with the highest bidder.
The cases were selected based on their “importance, influence and instructiveness,” the experts said.