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SOCIETY > Youth

Record number of child abuse cases in Japan in 1st half of 2016

  • September 15, 2016
  • , The Mainichi
  • English Press

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The number of child abuse cases Japanese police reported to child consultation centers between January and June rose to a record 24,511, with psychological abuse covering nearly 70 percent of the cases, police data showed Thursday.

 

The abuse of minors aged below 18 was up 42.3 percent from the same period last year, exceeding 20,000 for the first time since half-yearly comparable data became available in 2011, according to the National Police Agency.

 

The number of psychological abuse cases was 16,669, up 5,565, from a year earlier. Of those, 11,627 were cases of children witnessing domestic violence, up 4,354.

 

Police opened criminal investigations into 512 cases of child abuse during the six months, up 136.

 

Of the 512 cases, 415 were cases of physical abuse, including 26 cases of murder or attempted murder. The 512 cases also included 70 cases of sexual abuse, 16 cases of psychological abuse and 11 cases where minors were deprived of basic care such as feeding, clean clothes or education.

 

To better deal with child abuse, the national police in April notified police forces across Japan to share information on suspected abuse cases with municipalities and consultation centers.

 

The Diet revised the child abuse prevention law in May, allowing welfare authority to raid homes after obtaining court warrants if they suspected child abuse taking place.

 

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry created a three-digit hotline in July last year — it was previously a 10-digit number — to make it easier for cases to be reported.

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