Extract from The Asahi Shimbun
March 24 2023
TOKYO – In fiscal year 2021, a total of 2,960 persons with disabilities who were abused at home or in institutions were identified by local authorities across Japan (up 295 from the previous year). This is the highest number since FY12, when the survey began. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) announced the figures on 24th March.
The number of people abused by family members or other caregivers accounted for 68% of the total, or 2004 people, while 956 people were abused by staff members of welfare facilities for persons with disabilities.
The number of people abused by facility staff more than doubled compared to eight years ago in 2001. Physical abuse was the most common form of abuse at 57%, followed by psychological abuse at 42% and sexual abuse at 15%.
Abuse ‘behind closed doors’ that goes unnoticed ‘forced hospitalisation’ is a hotbed of abuse, and the UN also sees it as a problem.
In terms of disability, 73% of those abused in institutions were mentally disabled, 17% were physically disabled and 15% were mentally disabled.
By type of facility or establishment where abuse was confirmed, group homes were the most common, accounting for 23.2%. The most frequently cited cause of abuse (multiple answers) was “problems related to education, knowledge and care skills” at 64.5%. Problems with stress and emotional control of staff” was cited by 54.8%, and “Lack of ethics and principles” by 50.0%.
The number of cases consulted with and reported to local authorities has continued to increase, with 15,545 cases in 2009 (up from 1,124 in the previous year), exceeding 10,000 for the first time. 2,693 cases were judged to be cases of abuse. There were no deaths. On the other hand, there are many cases of abuse that are not fully grasped by local authorities. The survey also targets facilities for the disabled and does not include psychiatric hospitals.
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