New Taipei City has been the municipality in Taiwan with the highest number of reported rapes over the past several years, data released on Friday by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) showed.
In 2011, reports of rape in New Taipei City accounted for 15.7 percent of the nation’s total rape reports, while reports in New Taipei City made up 18.3 percent of the nation’s rape reports in 2017 and 17.6 percent last year, the ministry said.
Last year, Taiwan had 9,183 reports of rape — a 10-year low — down from 11,458 cases in 2018, the ministry said, adding that New Taipei City was followed by Kaohsiung (12.2 percent) and Taichung (12.1 percent).
The high number of reported rapes in New Taipei City is unsurprising, said an analysis by Cheng Chi-chia (鄭其嘉), an associate professor in Fu Jen Catholic University’s department of public health, as the municipality has a large population with plenty of people who are teenagers to middle-aged.
Commenting on a surge in rape cases in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Tainan, Cheng said that residents of those municipalities might have become more willing to report cases.
Last year, Kaohsiung accounted for 12.2 percent of the nation’s total reported rape cases, up from 10 percent in 2018, while Tainan increased to 6.4 percent from 5.8 percent and Taipei increased to 10.3 percent from 9.4 percent, the data showed.
By contrast, Taoyuan — second behind New Taipei City for reported rape cases in 2018 — accounted for 11.5 percent of the nation’s total reported rape cases last year, down from 14.2 percent a year earlier, the data showed.
Forty percent of rapists are the victim’s friend — a category that includes family friends, classmates and neighbors — while 10 percent are online acquaintances and 4 percent are strangers, the data showed.
Parents should get to know their children’s friends, and show caution when asking friends or family members to look after children, Cheng said.
Last year, 64 percent of rape victims were minors and nearly 10 percent of those victims were aged 12 or younger, while adult victims were mostly aged 18 to 20 (12 percent), she said, citing ministry data.
Adolescents tend to be unaware that having sex without protection can lead to getting pregnant or contracting sexually transmitted diseases, Cheng said, calling for more sex education for teenagers.
Parents and schools need to increase gender and sex education, teaching children that physical intimacy requires mutual consent, she said.
“Every parent must have the birds-and-the-bees talk with their children, and the point must be made clear,” Cheng said.
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