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Health Ministry finds an average of 33 children abused in Taiwan daily

NGOs call for 'No Hit Zones' at public spaces to protect children from verbal and physical abuse

NGO promotes safe spaces. (Facebook, Child Welfare Alliance Foundation photo)

NGO promotes safe spaces. (Facebook, Child Welfare Alliance Foundation photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Health and Welfare reports that child abuse continues to be prevalent in Taiwan, with 11,950 reported child protection cases last year, an average of 33 cases a day.

To better protect children, the Child Welfare Alliance Foundation is calling for the establishment of "No Hit Zones" in public spaces. Currently, more than 1,000 such public places have been established, locations where staff can intervene and report verbal or physical violence, per PTS.

“In public places when parents are excessively scolding their children this can lead to an uncomfortable situation or a potentially violent act. Staff working at these public places can intervene and help handle the situation," said Child Welfare Alliance Foundation CEO Pai Li-fang (白麗芳).

Her organization’s survey found that the public places where citizens most often witness children being hit or scolded are department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, parks, and children's playgrounds. The survey found that the public is generally reticent to intervene, with only 31.2% potentially stepping forward to stop verbal or physical abuse.

Pai says that abuse can cause serious, long-term trauma for children. It can also affect their behavior, emotional development, interpersonal relationships, and self-confidence, negatively affecting their healthy growth and development.

"Victims of child abuse will start to shrink away when interacting with others. On the other hand, some may even imitate the same behavior and spread it in school through bullying," said Fu Jen Catholic University Hospital Center for Child Protection Director Fan Hsiu-ping (范修平).