From The Kobe Shimbun
April 4 2022
KOBE – The number of confirmed cases of abuse of persons with disabilities in Hyogo Prefecture in FY2020 rose to 143, compared to the previous year. The number of cases increased by nearly 40% from 104, the prefectural government found. The increase is higher than the 1.09 times increase from the previous year in the national survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The prefecture believes that the increasing prevalence of the obligation to report cases of possible abuse, as well as the heightened stress of caregivers and facility workers, including family members, following the new coronavirus outbreak, are also contributing factors.
The prefectural government compiled the data based on reports from the various cities and towns. According to the report, the number of reports and consultations received in 2008 increased by 199 from the previous year to 58. 3 cases. Of these, 143 cases of abuse were found to have occurred, 101 by parents, siblings or other caregivers (compared to 7 in the previous year). (2 cases), accounting for 70% of the total. There were also 14 cases (seven cases in the same period) by employers in the workplace.
The remaining 28 cases (25 in the same year) were committed by facility workers, who are required by the Law for the Prevention of Cruelty to Persons with Disabilities to disclose the details of the abuse. The breakdown of acts includes 11 cases of physical abuse, six cases of psychological abuse such as verbal abuse, five cases each of combined physical and psychological and sexual abuse, and one case of economic abuse involving money. In terms of the type of disability of the victims, the highest number of victims, including those with multiple disabilities, were mentally disabled (25), while eight were physically disabled and three were mentally disabled.
The main causes are said to be lack of ethics and lack of support skills on the part of the perpetrators. With the exception of the after-school day service facilities, which were abolished after the problem was discovered, all of the establishments received written or verbal guidance. No measures such as revocation of designation or recommendations were taken.
The person in charge of the Prefectural Disability Welfare Division pointed out that the background to the increase in abuse is that “in addition to the increased stress on both the perpetrator and the victim due to the Coronvirus disaster, facilities and homes may be closed, making it difficult for the outside world to see what is going on”. In particular, at home, “there may be cases where the caregivers themselves are trapped or seeking support”.