Reports of child abuse have surged by 77 percent over the last four years, reaching 10,027 cases last year, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare this week.
Child abuse is categorized into four types, although 48 percent of cases were categorized as involving multiple forms of abuse. By individual type, neglect was the most common, followed by emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse.
Nearly 82 percent of the offenders were parents, while 9.9 percent were foster parents, 5.6 percent were relatives, 2.9 percent were instructors at child care centers and 2.1 percent were workers at child welfare facilities.
The number of reports showed a dramatic increase from 5,657 cases in 2000, largely attributed to a rise in the proportion of cases that are actually reported, the ministry said. The introduction of a special law on child abuse in October last year that made it mandatory for witnesses to report child abuses also contributed, it said.