02/07/2019, 13.30
JAPAN
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A record 80,000 victims of child abuse in 2018

A total of 57,326 children suffered verbal abuse or neglect. The number who faced physical abuse was 14,821, whilst 7,699 were neglected by their parents. Some 258 children were victims of sexual abuse. Police also confirmed a record 77,482 domestic violence cases last year, up for a 15th consecutive year. The number of male victims in 2018 was about five times the level of 2013.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A record number of children have been the victims of suspected child abuse, this according to statistics released by the National Police Agency (NPA).

A total of 80,104 children under 18 were reported to child consultation centres in 2018, a 22.4 per cent increase over 2017.

The number of child abuse cases has increased every year since such statistics were first compiled in 2004.

Police also confirmed a record 77,482 domestic violence cases. Last year was the 15th consecutive year such cases have increased.

In breaking down the suspected child abuse cases, about 70 per cent, or 57,326 children suffered from psychological abuse through verbal abuse or neglect.

The number of children who faced physical abuse was 14,821, whilst 7,699 were neglected by their parents and not properly cared for. There were 258 children who were victims of sexual abuse.

The police investigated some of the cases as criminal acts of abuse. The number of physical abuse cases looked into totalled 1,075, while police investigated 223 cases of sexual abuse, 34 cases of psychological abuse and 23 cases of child neglect.

Among the domestic violence cases uncovered by police, women were victimised in about 80 per cent of the cases. But there has also been an increase in the number of male victims, with the 15,964 cases reported in 2018 about five times the level of 2013.

Last July, Japan was shocked by the case of Yua Funato, a five-year-old girl who was neglected by her parents and died of pneumonia.

For Mgr Tarcisio Kikuchi, archbishop of Tokyo, such tragedies occur because of the crisis of Japanese families and the solitude of young people.

According to experts, loneliness in society and poverty are among the leading causes of child abuse.

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