TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei City had the highest number of reported sexual assaults last year, according to an annual report released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on Friday (Nov. 20).
According to the annual report on sexual assault incidents, New Taipei had the highest number of cases in 2019, which has been the case for several years. Cheng Chi-chia (鄭其嘉), an associate professor at Fu Jen Catholic University’s Department of Public Health, said the reason behind the higher rate in New Taipei is due to its large population and high percentage of young adults, reported Liberty Times.
Cheng said most of the victims are young women and incidents primarily occur in large metropolitan areas. Therefore, "It's not surprising that New Taipei has the highest number of sexual assault cases in the country," said Cheng.
The number of reported cases of sexual assault in 2019 also increased in Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. Cheng said that in addition to public security factors, the surge in reported cases may be partly explained by victims being more willing to step forward and notify authorities.
Cheng said the most common place where sexual assaults occur is in the home and the perpetrators are most often friends of the victim, with minors comprising the majority of cases. She said that among sexual assault cases involving minors, the majority are students aged between 16 and 18.
She added that instances of minors engaging in sex, without knowledge about the risks of pregnancy and acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, demonstrated the need for improved sex education. Cheng added that sexual assault by acquaintances is relatively common and emphasized that prevention starts with family education, while parents should pay attention to their children's friendships and the relatives and acquaintances who interact with them.
In response to concerns that public reporting on sexual assault in counties and cities will lead to the police and social welfare departments being held responsible, Cheng said the recent "Me too" movement has encouraged more people to focus on their physical autonomy.
She called on parents and schools to provide more education so children clearly understood that all physical contact must get express consent. "Talk to your child and make it clear," said Cheng.