Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Anti-domestic violence group urges voter action

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Coalition Against Violence yesterday urged voters to use their ballots to pressure local governments into putting more resources toward the prevention and handling of domestic violence and sexual assaults, as social workers nationwide are overwhelmed by heavy workloads caused by budget and personnel shortages.

“The number of domestic violence and sexual assault cases has been on the rise in recent years, yet the government has been cutting its budget for the prevention of such incidents and for social work,” coalition director-general Chang Ching-li (張錦麗) told a press conference in Taipei.

Government statistics show that nearly 130,000 cases of domestic violence were reported last year, involving 110,103 victims, up from 38,238 victims in 2002, while the number of people who reported sexual assaults increased from 5,638 in 2006 to 10,901 last year, Chang said.

The Taipei City Government allocated NT$300 million (US$10 million) to its Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault last year, yet that works out to just NT$2,975 per case per month, Chang said.

“The monthly average funding per case in Changhua County was NT$661, followed by NT$639 for Yunlin County and NT$540 in Chiayi County,” Chang said.

Every local government had failed to keep social worker’s workloads below the statutory standard of 40 cases, with those in Yunlin, Chiayi and Greater Taichung being put in charge of an average of 108.81, 100.3 and 98.91 cases per person respectively.

“Such enormous workloads have taken a toll on the quality of service provided by the social workers, putting people at greater risk of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Chang said.

“We urge electorates in these constituencies to use their ballots in the Nov. 29 elections to pressure mayors and commissioners into making some real changes,” Chang said.

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