A Third of Mothers Neglected Prenatal Checkups in Child Abuse Death Cases (News)


Tokyo, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)--An experts' panel investigating fatal child abuse cases in Japan in fiscal 2015 reported Thursday that over 30% of the mothers of the dead children did not receive checkups during their pregnancies.

Finding mothers who need support while they are still pregnant is widely seen as a key to preventing child abuse.

But Kansai University Professor Yamagata Fumiharu, who chaired of the welfare ministry panel, said, "It's difficult to find such mothers if even their families or schools don't recognize" that they need help. The panel investigated cases in which children aged under 18 died due to abuse in the year to March 2016.

The panel analyzed 72 cases involving a total of 84 children, based on information from local governments.

When murder-suicide cases are excluded, fatal abuse cases came to 48, with victimized children totaling 52. Of the victims, 18, or 34.6%, were born as a result of unexpected pregnancies, while the mothers of 17 children, or 32.7%, did not receive prenatal checkups.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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