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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Tai

TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

In 2016, about one domestic violence case was reported every five minutes.

The following article is published under the pure innocence of a young teenager and is not written with any intention of offense. If you find any of the below content insensitive, inappropriate, or dangerous to audience members, feel free to contact us by filling in the message section via the bottom of the main page, please. Thank you.


Article Overview


Taiwan’s traditional patriarchal system is inferred to be a major maximizer of domestic violence and child abuse in the country.


14% of domestic violence cases include instances of child abuse.


Almost 9,000 child abuse cases called for intervention in 2018 alone.


Taiwan saw more than 117,000 domestic violence cases reported in 2016, making it about 320 every day or one reported every five minutes.


The MOHW projects that the true number of domestic violence cases in Taiwan is about double that of actual reports.


Anybody can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, race, or religion.


What is Domestic Violence? Why is it a Problem?


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Taiwan’s rapid urbanization, growing economic competition, and struggles for employment have become some of the major catalysts of the nation’s domestic abuse epidemic. The subsequent financial insecurities have left families living paycheck to paycheck, forcing many to take on multiple occupations just to satisfy the basic needs of a family: electricity bills, tuition fees, grocery budgets, etc. Together with our culture’s significantly strong tending towards traditional gender roles (a patriarchal family system in which women are expected to subject), the growing inequality of genders has put men in a spot of overwhelming familial responsibilities and financial burdens. Without healthy means of burden-sharing and access to the right channels of work stress, domestic abuse has become the backlash that’s monstrosity has left family violence racing to become one of the utmost serious social issues in Taiwan.


Contrary to commonplace impressions, domestic violence not only comprises physical violence but also covers practices of emotional abuse, intimidation, coercion, and isolation. Instances as such most commonly take place between married couples, former-partners in which have divorced, or unmarried individuals sharing a household The involvement of children is furthermore accounted for in about 14% of the reported cases.



Though domestic abuse rarely stands alone in singular instances and generally spans over several years or even decades, victims usually don’t report their situation since the first instance of violence. Because it often takes prolonged periods of time for victims of abuse to report their cases to authority, it has become inevitably impossible for the government to accurately estimate the real number of domestic violence cases within the current timeframe. Regardless, with growing amounts of government funds and resources invested to advocate for the dangers and persistency of domestic violence (coupled with new initiatives put in place to prevent exacerbation of domestic abuse), the country has come to witness a sharp rise in the number of reported domestic abuse cases over the past few years. In 2016 alone, Taiwan saw more than 117,000 domestic violence cases reported, making it about 320 every day or one reported every five minutes. The director of the MOHW (the Ministry of Health and Welfare) even suggests that the true number of cases is likely to be double of the reports.


Prevention and Progress


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Taiwan’s government and the nation’s untiring NGOs have been fighting against domestic abuse for decades. With the implementation of protection plans such as the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and advocacy projects that fight against the unwritten laws of convention and female subjugation, the country has come to see a dramatic rise in reported cases of domestic violence. Though social workers don’t believe the actual numbers of domestic violence cases have decreased much since the initiative, they do believe that dramatic shifts in information and acceptance are visible among the general population, especially with the degree to which people are informed about the issue and how victims understand their situation along with the resource services provided.


World Vision Taiwan continues to be one of the largest organizations in place targeted to battle domestic violence and child abuse in the nation. From actively advocating for child protection through community and educational facilities to offering nation-wide counseling resources for families at high risks of domestic violence to providing 24-hour protection hotlines backed up by professionally-trained social workers, the country’s three-tiered child protection system in collaboration with the government stands as one of the major gateways to eradicate the issue of domestic violence in the country.


What Can We Do?


While child protection and comprehensive family support services still stand at guard around the clock to fight domestic violence and child abuse, detecting early-signs of family violence around the neighborhood and encouraging victims to seek support services remain critical to battle the country’s domestic abuse epidemic.

Looking back at the status quo under the COVID-19 pandemic, countries under strict quarantine and lockdown measures are experiencing a spike in domestic abuse cases as financial difficulties from unemployment fuels unbearable stress levels while simultaneously, victims are finding it increasingly difficult to find times and spaces of haven. Paired with strained social services and front-line workers, advocacy and community efforts are now more important than ever. By donating to foundations fighting against domestic violence to spreading words of awareness, the end of domestic violence isn’t far out of reach.


For more information about domestic violence in Taiwan, visit:






References


“Child Protection”, World Vision, https://www.worldvision.org.tw/english/03_work/domestic.php?m1=3&m2=11&m3=55&m4=0, January 30 2021.


I-Chia, Lee. “Child Abuse: Nearly 9,000 cases needed intervention, MOHW says”, Taipei Times, https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/01/17/2003708084, January 30 2021.


Lin, Syrena. “Domestic Violence Rises in Isolation. Taiwan Has Yet to Act”, The News Lens, April 17 2020, https://international.thenewslens.com/article/133990, January 30 2021.


White, Edward. “Taiwan’s Domestic Violence Epidemic: Abuse Reported Every 5 Minutes”, The News Lens, June 19 2017, https://international.thenewslens.com/article/71187, January 30 2021.

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