TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The Ministry of Health and Welfare has revealed disheartening statistics for the past year, citing 12,000 cases related to child abuse, a trend that raises concern in the country.
A survey released on Nov. 13 by the Child Welfare League found that nearly 90% of respondents have witnessed parents verbally or physically disciplining their children in public. Notably, 17% reported observing such incidents every month, highlighting a widespread issue.
Interestingly, only 30% of those who witnessed these incidents tried to intervene or seek help. In contrast, 60% chose to stand aside, evaluating whether it was worth getting involved. This hesitance reflects a lack of public awareness on addressing child abuse.
The study also revealed that over 54% of these incidents occurred in places like malls, supermarkets, and restaurants, with 40% happening along roadsides in broad daylight. Most instances of improper discipline towards children are thus witnessed by many.
While corporal punishment has declined, punitive attitudes toward children remain deeply rooted in Taiwanese society. Pai Li-fang, CEO of the Welfare League Foundation, stresses the negative impact of public scolding on children's self-esteem and parent-child relationships, underscoring the need for increased awareness and education on proper parenting.
Experts suggest using body language, like hugs or shoulder pats, to show empathy to the child. However, in situations drawing large crowds, intervening might make the parent feel embarrassed and defensive. Yet, if there's clear evidence of harm to the child, immediate intervention is necessary, or one should seek assistance from the police or social services.
Children are society's backbone. Protecting them is crucial for safeguarding future generations.