The number of child abuse cases in Hong Kong is increasing from year to year, says children’s rights group Against Child Abuse’s Director Donna Wong.
According to the Social Welfare Department, child abuse is defined as any act of force or exclusion that endangers the physical or psychological health of a person under the age of 18.
It is a big issue in Hong Kong. This past year alone, the rights group received a total of 1,121 hotline calls. The age group for the child abuse cases are alarming.
“Among these 1,121 cases handled, 1,052 children were involved – 491 were girls, 515 were boys and 46 were unknown,” said Wong.
“The age group which suffered the most child abuse was three to five year-olds with 336 cases, followed by six to eight years old with 278 cases and newborn to two years old with 146 cases.”
When the rights group receives a call, there are counsellors who give emotional support to the children, and childcare advice to adults or caretakers.
“On the phone, our social workers make initial risk assessment by talking to the child, the suspected abusers and other significant family members.
“They then decide whether follow-up services such as investigation, home visitation or referral should be provided,” Wong said.
She says the rights group will continue to raise awareness.
They want to encourage everyone in the community to play an active role in spotting and reporting all forms of suspected child abuse cases.
If you are victim of child abuse or know of a case, call Against Child Abuse at 2755-1122 for help