Reported child abuse cases record high in 2016
According to figures compiled by the Okinawa Prefectural Police Juvenile Division, the number of reported child abuse cases in the prefecture rose to record high 384 cases in 2016 that is 74 more than the previous year and the most since 2009 when police started collecting the data.
In 17 cases children were in life-threatening situations and taken to a protective custody. That is the most in 5 years.
Police analysis concluded that the main reason for the increased number was because local residents are more aware and concerned about potential child abuse.
The cases count children under 18 who are targets of abuse. The total number of reported children was almost 8.17 times more than in 2013 when there were only 47 reported cases. Police conducted inspections of 16 people who were suspected of abuse, including biological and step parents. 14 of the cases involved physical abuse, and two were suspected sexual abuse cases.