The Garden of Hope Foundation yesterday called on the government to ease COVID-19 relief requirements, saying that many women and children who live separately from the family members listed on their household registration due to sexual abuse, domestic violence or other reasons might be unable to access relief.
From January to March, about 32,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in the nation, up about 5 percent compared with the same period last year, the foundation told a news conference in Taipei, citing Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics.
The foundation said that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it has observed from its work with victims of violence an increase in family conflicts caused by economic pressure — a trend it says is happening worldwide.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
The UN has called the rise in domestic violence a “shadow pandemic,” the foundation said, adding that COVID-19 has put already vulnerable people at greater risk.
The foundation said that the women and children it serves encounter several obstacles when they try to apply for government relief.
Due to domestic violence, sexual abuse or negligent care, many of the children and young people the foundation serves left their homes at an early age and live independently, but people under the age of 20 cannot apply for relief, it said.
New immigrants who have left their homes because of domestic violence but have not yet received their national ID cards also cannot apply, it said.
Most of those immigrants work in the service or food industries and have been greatly affected by the pandemic, but because they do not have national ID cards, they have been excluded from the government’s relief programs, it said.
Meanwhile, if someone listed on a household registration has already filed an application for relief, then the others on that registration cannot apply, it said.
While social welfare in Taiwan is traditionally distributed to households as a unit, it can be difficult for victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse at home to explain their situation to administrative staff at local township offices, foundation CEO Wang Yue-hao (王玥好) said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yu-chin (吳玉琴) and New Power Party Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) yesterday also attended the news conference in support of the foundation and the issues it raised.
Urging the government to listen to non-governmental organizations that have long supported disadvantaged groups, Chiu said that the opinions expressed by the foundation are valuable because they are based on its experience working on the front lines with vulnerable people.
Victims of domestic violence and their abusers have a “conflict of interest” under the current relief scheme, which treats households — as opposed to individuals — as applicants, he said.
While it is understandable that the government might have initially been unable to account for all the different situations that could arise, now that it has been made aware, it should respond, he said.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn