Child sexual abuse cases have been increasing in recent years. Addressing the issue that Taichung City has a higher number of child sexual abuse cases than other cities and counties, Deputy Mayor Tsai Bing-Kun (蔡炳坤)said that it might be due to the fact that we have a sound reporting and notification system but he also advocated that the way to solve child sexual abuse problems is heavy punishment. "Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies," said Deputy Mayor Tsai.
Co-hosted by Social Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government and Department of Social Work of Tunghai University, the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Seminar was held today (September 12 ) at the Convention Center of Tunghai University. Attending at the seminar were 220 professionals from the legislature, judicature, academia, and first-line prevention social workers.
Chairing the forum, Deputy Mayor Tsai Bing-Kun suggested, “As an old saying goes: Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies. I think heavy punishment is the key to solving child sexual abuse problems. We all know that family and interpersonal relationships are getting complicated and moral values are weakening and weakening. As a result, child sexual abuse cases have been increasing year by year. Between 2006 and 2012, in Taiwan, the number of victims aged 0-6 years old grew by 1.6 times, the number of victims aged 6 to 12 grew by 1.8 times, and the number of victims aged 12 to 18 grew by 2.5 times. 50% of the offenders are family members and 20% are friends or neighbors to the family. It is terrible to see 70% of offenders are people familiar to the victims.”
With regard to the fact that Taichung City has a higher number of child sexual abuse cases than other cities and counties, Deputy Mayor Tsai Bing-Kun Deputy Mayor Tsai said, “If it is because we have a sound reporting and notification system to prevent any case from being covered up, this statistics is not necessarily a bad sign. However, if the number showed our poor performance in preventing sexual assault cases from happening, we at the Taichung City Government should reflect ourselves humbly.”
Deputy Mayor Tsai stressed again and again that heavy penalties should be imposed. “It is the most important way to effectively rectify the child sexual abuse problems. In addition, we should also strengthen ‘family education’ and ‘schooling functions’. Moreover, I would like to remind our citizen that it is illegal to conceal any child sexual abuse case. You must report any sexual assault case to the police, because sexual abuse impacts a child very much. It may distort his/her physical and mental development in the future.”
Liu Chu-li (劉珠利), Head of Department of Social Work of Tunghai University pointed out that many abused children could not clearly and precisely describe what had happened to them. “They may repeat their testimony again and again but incompletely. Moreover, the attitudes of parents may influence the child's testimony. Those factors will increase the difficulty in gathering evidence,” added Associate Professor Liu.
Lin Wu-Xiong (林武雄), Director of Central District Culture and Education Foundation of Child Welfare League Foundation, said, “Social work is never an easy job but it is very meaningful. Our female social workers work hard like men, while our male social workers work like ‘beasts’. We always face compromise and difficulty but we are full of enthusiasm and justice. We will fight on.”
In the morning sessions, Wang Yu-Min (王育敏), a legislator who fights for child welfare all her life, was invited to explore how the Legislature has been working on child sexual abuse problems in recent years. Lee Tsuey-Ling (李翠玲), a chief prosecutor of Taichung District Prosecutors Office, was also invited to speak on legal difficulties that we may face in dealing with child sexual abuse problems. Tsai Chi-Yuan (蔡啟源), Professor of Department of Social Work of Tunghai University, talked on "Dialogue between Law and Policy.”In the afternoon sessions of “Dialogue between Practice and Professionalism", Hou Shu-Ju (侯淑茹),Director of Taichung City Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center, told the participants of the current status of how social workers are dealing with child sexual abuse problems. Meanwhile, Peng Huai-Chen (彭懷真), Associate Professor of Department of Social Work of Tunghai University, talked about how social workers are educated and developed. The seminar provided a platform to discuss a wide variety of issues in depth and breadth.