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Hong Kong Reports a 66% Increase in Child Abuse Cases

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Hong Kong Sees Sixty Six Percent Increase in Child Abuse Cases

Police in Hong Kong have reported child abuse cases have jumped two-thirds this year compared with the same time last year.  Hong Kong police have attributed the increase in child abuse to societal changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Superintendent Lee King-hei, of the Hong Kong police force’s crime division, said children spend less time at school and other extracurricular activities, leaving them more exposed to danger both in and out of the home.

He said child abuse cases often arise because of child conflicts between parents or if parents are unable to control their own emotions and take it out on their children.

Reported child abuse cases in Hong Kong are up 66%, from 525 in the first nine months of 2020, to 871 cases in 2021. Physical abuse of children, such as beatings has jumped 70%, from 262 to 444. Approximately 130 of the total child abuse cases involve children aged five and below.

Superintendent Lee said the perpetrators were usually family members.

Meanwhile, reports of sexual abuse, saw a more than 60% rise, from 263 to 427, with about a third taking place in public, including on mass transit, Lee said.

Twenty-two of the victims were aged five or under, and all but one were little girls.

Child abuse app

The second-largest category of such abuse cases involving children was kids being coerced into sex after being targeted through social media.

Hong Kong Police have now released a new app that provides information on child abuse aimed at different age groups. The app provides instructions on what to do for both victims and witnesses.

Superintendent Lee also urged all of Hong Kong’s residents to be alert to any child abuse that could be happening around them. He has called on caregivers, teachers, parents, and even neighbors to step in whenever possible.

“Protecting our children from abuse is everyone’s responsibility,” Lee told SCMP.

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