Home violence against kids rising

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-27 06:54

GUANGZHOU: South China's Guangdong Province will open more domestic violence shelters in response to the rising number of child abuse cases.

The shelters will be located in the heart of residential communities.

Cases of family violence against children have increased by about 20 percent across the province over the past two decades, with many victims seriously injured due to the lack of effective protective shelters offered by government.

"We have found that a growing number of children has been subjected to physical violence at home in recent years," Zhang Liling, director of the Children's Department of the Guangdong Provincial Women's Federation, said.

"And more protective shelters along with province-wide surveillance systems on child abuse will soon be set up for the victims of domestic violence."

In a recent case, a three-year-old girl from Baiyun District of Guangzhou, was locked in a toilet for nearly a month by her mother. The girl has also been "seriously" physically abused by her parents after they had a big quarrel.

"In this case, the girl, unfortunately, fell victim to her parents' bad relationship," Zhang said. "As a governmental authority, we must offer help to children who are neglected by their parents."

Two residential communities in Foshan will trial a new anti-abuse "surveillance system".

"Temporary shelters for child victims of domestic violence will also be set up in the two communities, to provide necessary psychological rehabilitation and comfort for them," Zhang said.

The women's federation will work with schools, departments of health and social security to promote children's rights.

The establishment of shelters for physically abused children coincides with the Campaign of Prevention of Violence Against Children, launched last June by the United Nation's Children Fund (UNICEF) in Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shanxi provinces.

Under the campaign, a series of studies on children's development will be carried out and measures will be set up in the province.

Zhang said residents are encouraged to report suspected cases of child abuse via a new telephone hotline, soon to be set up.

(China Daily 03/27/2007 page5)

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