Nearly nine out of 10 child abuse cases were committed by family members, and the majority of offenders were biological parents, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday.
About 40 percent of victims were assaulted every day. Experts say both victims and offenders need special therapy
According to the ministry, a total of 5,657 cases of child abuse were reported in 2010. Among them, 530 were committed on children less than 3 years old. Another 506 cases were classified as “potentially abusive” cases, indicating that they might develop into abuse should no appropriate measures be taken for prevention.
About 87.9 percent of the crimes were committed by the victims’ family members and 83.2 percent were their biological parents. Most of them were jobless, housewives or manual laborers in the low income bracket of less than 1.5 million won ($1,300) a month. The rest of the offenses took place at kindergartens, nurseries or schools.
Forty-one percent of victims said they had been abused nearly every day while another 19.1 percent said once every two-three days.
“The notable thing is that abuse against small children who cannot protect themselves from harm is increasing in numbers,” a ministry official said. “They were neglected and isolated, beaten or mentally abused. About 0.3 percent of the cases were sexual assaults.”
The authorities said the number of cases will grow unless some preventative measures and therapies are given to both abusers and victims. Currently, the government supports counseling, medical service, psychological therapy, patronage and others to the victims and the abusers.
Also, authorities have designated 12 occupations where workers must monitor eye on children constantly and make mandatory reports about any abuse.
“We will also watch out the grey area exposed to an abusive environment though abuses have not taken place yet,” the official said.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org