Tokyo, March 11 (Jiji Press)–Japanese police recognized a record 2,172 child abuse victims, aged under 18, in 2020, a survey showed Thursday.
The figure grew 9.1 pct from the previous year, according to the National Police Agency survey. Police detected a record 2,133 child abuse cases in 2020, up 8.2 pct.
The number of children who died after being abused totaled 61.
Growing public interest in child abuse cases and an increased effort to address them apparently led to the increase in recognized cases.
There are concerns that many hidden abuse cases exist as the coronavirus pandemic is reducing opportunities to meet people other than family members.
Of the 61 children who died, 23 were physically abused and six faced neglect. Twenty-one died in murder-suicide cases, while 11 were killed just after being born or in other situations.
Police took 5,526 children whose lives were threatened into protective custody.
Among the 2,133 detected cases, 1,756, or 82 pct, involved physical abuse. The number of sexual abuse cases came to 299, or 14 pct.
The offenders included 995 biological fathers, 588 biological mothers, 300 foster fathers and stepfathers and 210 de facto husbands of the victims’ mothers.
Police notified child consultation centers of suspected abuse against a record 106,991 children.
Of the children, some 70 pct were psychologically abused. In some of such cases, children witnessed their fathers or mothers receive violence from their spouses or partners.
The number of cases in which police did not report but offered information to child consultation centers stood at 43,577, up 22 pct.
In 401 cases, child consultation centers requested police help in checking children’s safety or taking temporary custody of children.