Child abuse cases hit record in Jan.-June
A record 248 child abuse cases were recorded by police in the nation in the first six months of the year, up 62.1 percent from a year before, National Police Agency data showed Thursday.
The number of abused children increased 55.6 percent to 252, also the highest since comparable data became available in 2000.
Meanwhile, 12 children died from abuse in the first half of the year, accounting for a record low of 4.8 percent of the total abuse cases.
An NPA official said increasing reports from neighbors helped alert the authorities to abuse and enabled prompt action to avert further damage.
The number of physically abused children totaled 178, accounting for 70 percent of the total. Sexually abused children amounted to 69, while five were victims of neglect.
Police reported 7,271 children, an increase of 37.7 percent, to child welfare consultation centers as being suspected abuse victims.
The rise came after the NPA instructed prefectural police departments in April to better coordinate with child welfare centers in order to better deal with increasing child abuse cases.
Nearly half of the children reported to welfare centers were victims of psychological, including verbal, abuse. Some of them witnessed domestic violence.
The NPA also reported the number of child pornography cases hit a record high of 764, up 19.9 percent from a year earlier. The number of offenders rose 37.2 percent to 612, also a record high.
The number of child pornography victims reached 596. As many as 319, or 53.5 percent of the total, are believed to be of primary school age or younger.
(Sep. 7, 2012)