Child abuse cases top 30,000 in 2019, with 42 deaths caused by mistreatment: report
SEOUL, The number of child abuse cases in South Korea jumped 22.1 percent in 2019 from a year earlier, with deaths from mistreatment spiking 50 percent, a government report showed Monday.
The annual report showed confirmed cases of abuse came to 30,045 in 2019, up from 24,604 in 2018, while child abuse deaths rose to 42 in 2019 from 28 the previous year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said.
The total child abuse cases in the country have been on the rise for the past five years, from 10,027 in 2014 to 18,700 in 2016 before climbing to 22,367 the following year, the ministry’s latest findings showed. The number of kids who died from abuse stood at 14 in 2014, shot up to 38 in 2017 and dipped to 28 the following year, before rising back up again.
The ministry said that besides the confirmed cases of abuse, the number of reported incidents rose 13.7 percent last year to 41,389, from 36,416 in 2018. The number is significantly higher than 17,782 tallied in 2014.
By age group, 23.5 percent of the abused kids were in the 13-15 age group, with 50.9 percent of the victims being boys.
Among fatalities, 45.2 percent was newborns and babies from 0-1 years old.
The report said that 75.6 percent, or 22,700 cases of abuse, was carried out by the parents of the children, with 16.6 percent being substitute caregivers and 4.4 percent being other relatives.
The ministry report said 79.5 percent of all abuse cases occurred at home, followed by schools, day care centers and kindergartens.
Of all offenses, 14,476 involved perpetrators hurting kids repeatedly, with mental and physical abuse totaling 7,622 and 4,179 cases, respectively. There were 2,885 instances of serious neglect and 883 sexual abuse cases that were reported.
The ministry said that with the steady rise in abuse cases, more attention must be paid to protect victims and deal with offenders.
Source: Yonhap News Agency