Amendment to act expands coverage for abuse cases

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 3

The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (家庭暴力防治法) to expand its coverage to children and youths who witness parental abuse and to improves measures to prevent cases of abuse.

Under the amendment, civil protection orders issued by courts to victims of domestic violence will be extended to children and other young people who witness such abuse.

The amendment suggested extending the validity period of protective orders, which are currently valid for one year from the date they are served and can only be extended once.

The amendment also stipulated that judges can consult with children or their social workers about guardianship decisions before a ruling is handed down.

Under the bill, the media are banned from revealing any information that could be used to identify underage children in families affected by domestic violence.

The report presented by the Ministry of the Interior at the Cabinet meeting showed that the number of reported cases of domestic violence showed an increase of 10 percent every year over the past five years.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said that the increase did not necessarily mean that there were more people suffering domestic abuse, but may indicate that recent measures have encouraged more victims to seek intervention in cases of abuse.