Taipei, May 12 (CNA) The Taiwan Coalition Against Violence called Saturday for more dedicated police units to protect women and teenagers from violence in light of the number of victims subject to abuse in recent years.
The group's chief executive officer, Yao Shu-wen, called on the National Police Agency to set up a section in charge of safeguarding human rights, and urged the Crime Investigation Bureau to set up a department dedicated to protecting female adults and teenagers.
Hsu Hui-yi, the group's vice president, said only 451 police officers are responsible for family violence and sexual assault cases around Taiwan at present, and resources are even scarcer in eight more rural counties, including Miaoli, Yunlin, Chiayi, Hualien and Taitung,where fewer than one such police officer is assigned to each town.
The problem has reached alarming proportions, Hsu said, with 105,271 people in Taiwan reporting being victims to family violence and sexual abuse in Taiwan last year, an average of 288 victims per day, according to Ministry of the Interior statistics.
Nearly three times as many women (68,585) as men (24,148) fell prey to family violence in 2011, and far more women (9,621) than men (1,140) fell victim to sexual assault, the statistics showed.
The numbers do not add up to 105,271 because in some cases, the gender of the victims was not reported.
Women in the 30-40 age bracket were the most susceptible to family violence, with 17,820 of the 68,585 women victimized by family violence in that age group.
Female teenagers aged 12-18 were the age group most vulnerable to sexual assaults, accounting for 4,964 of the 9,621 female victims last year.
Regardless of the violence and sexual abuse risks women face, there are too few police officers dedicated to safeguarding their safety, Hsu said.
(By Scully Hsiao)