New Record for Annual Child Abuse Reports in JapanSociety
Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that there were 159,850 child abuse consultations at Japanese child guidance offices in 2018. This figure, the highest since record keeping began in 1990, rose by 26,072 from 2017. It is believed that media coverage of high-profile child abuse fatalities has helped increase reporting.
The most prevalent type of abuse reported was psychological abuse, at 88,389 incidents, followed by physical abuse (40,256), neglect (29,474), and sexual abuse (1,731). Included in psychological abuse were such acts as children being verbally abused or witnessing one parent assaulting another.
Most of the reports were made by police or through other official channels, at 79,150 cases, followed by neighbors and acquaintances at 21,449 cases, schools and other institutions at 11,449 cases, other family members at 11,178 cases, and 1,414 reports from victims themselves.
A select subcommittee on child abuse appointed by the ministry’s Social Security Council compiled statistics finding that there were 65 fatalities due to child abuse in 2017, and 52 of these were due to abuse other than murder-suicide. Of the total child abuse fatalities, 28 were of infants less than one year of age, and 14 of this latter group were less than one month old. The chief perpetrators overall were birth mothers in 25 cases and birth fathers in 14 cases. In addition, 16 of these fatalities followed mothers’ unplanned or otherwise unexpected pregnancies.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)