The Korea Herald


50 kids died of child abuse in 2022, mostly by parents

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : Aug. 31, 2023 - 15:02

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Fifty children died of child abuse last year in Korea, most of it committed by their parents, government data showed Thursday.

By cause of death, 17 of them died of physical abuse, 14 of them were murdered right before their parents committed suicide, and five of them were the victims of infanticide, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

By age group, 56 percent of children who were killed last year were under 3.

A total of 27,971 child abuse cases were confirmed last year, according to the ministry. Some 82 percent of them were committed by parents, followed by 3.1 percent committed by other relatives. Some 81 percent of the victims were abused at home.

“The public needs to raise awareness of the ban on corporal punishment on their kids,” an official from the ministry said.

In cases of child abuse, 57.8 percent of perpetrators were men, while 42.2 percent were women.

Of all offenses, 9,775 involved perpetrators hurting kids repeatedly, with mental and physical abuse totaling 10,632 and 4,911 cases, respectively. There were 2,044 instances of serious neglect and 609 sexual abuse cases reported.

Reported child abuse cases rose from 36,417 in 2018 to 46,103 in 2022. The increase is believed to have been driven by increased awareness about the significance of reporting such incidents.

The proportion of recurring cases inched up from 14.7 percent in 2021 to 16 percent, the ministry said, adding that the strengthened state monitoring has played a part in revealing repeated child abuse cases.

“There is a chance that kids who have not been vaccinated or treated at medical institutions may be being abused, so the ministry plans to find their whereabouts and check their well-being,” the ministry said.