The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families has established April 28 as Child Protection Day to raise awareness of child abuse, and yesterday invited 428 families to an event at the Chianti Boulevard Plaza in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) to show their support for a society free from child abuse.
Last year, 19,174 children and teenagers were reported to have suffered abuse, meaning more than 52 children are exposed to violence and an unsafe environment each day, and the organization said that 71 percent of those cases involved the children’s parents.
“Every month, we lose forever 1.4 children, on average, to deadly child abuse. We are strongly against depriving children of their right to life. Committing suicide with children is the gravest kind of child abuse,” said fund chief executive Betty Ho (何素秋), who urged the public to care about the children around them and refer those who need help to the organization.
The campaign urges parents to refrain from physically punishing children and to either calm down when enraged by their children’s behavior, or call the organization for assistance.
The climax of the event was the playing of an audio recording made by the child protection authority, in which a father is heard scolding and beating his child in a rage as the child’s mother intervened to no avail, and was also beaten.
While the recording was aired, the participants at the event were asked to blindfold themselves to feel the horror experienced by the helpless child.
“The figure of 19,174 [cases] is probably the tip of the iceberg. It is only due to greater awareness that the number of child abuse cases reported has increased in the past three years,” Ho said.
“People are now telling parents off when they exhibit abusive behavior toward children in public, but we are hoping to further raise public consciousness,” Ho added.