|The welfare ministry is taking a survey of child abuse cases to see if the victims also suffered from sexual violence. (Photo by=Kyodo)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Japan's welfare ministry begun a survey of child abuse cases to see if the victims also suffered from sexual violence, with an eye to tackling the most difficult cases particularly if they occur within a family, officials said Saturday.
The survey began after a high-profile death of 10-year-old Mia Kurihara in January last year due to physical abuse at her home in Chiba Prefecture, as she revealed when temporarily in protective custody that she had also suffered sexual abuse, they said. The ministry asks all 220 child consultation centers in Japan to report cases in which they initially didn’t know but later discovered that the abused children had also been exposed to sexual abuse.
The centers are authorized to offer temporary protection to abused children, give guidance to parents and enter homes when necessary for inspection, and have been dealing with an increasing number of child abuse cases in years. Of 159,838 cases of child abuse reported or referred to the consultation centers in fiscal 2018, 55.3 percent involved psychological abuse, 25.2 percent physical abuse, 18.4 percent neglect, and only 1.1 percent sexual abuse. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare plan to compile a report by March next year, the officials said.