National

2,266 disabled people were abused in Japan in fiscal 2013, ministry says

Kyodo

A total of 2,266 disabled people in Japan were reportedly abused by family members or care workers in the year leading up to last March, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said on Tuesday.

The abuse cases include three disabled people who died — two of whom were abused at home and one at a care facility.

The result compared with 1,505 disabled people reported as abused in the six months to March 2013, in the first survey under a law that took effect in October 2012 requiring possible abuse to be reported to local governments.

The abused victims included 1,280 people with intellectual disabilities, 716 mentally handicapped persons and 601 people with physical disabilities. Some had multiple disabilities.

Cases of abuse by family members included 1,116 incidents of physical violence such as beating and confinement, 558 incidents of psychological abuse including verbal attacks, 449 incidents of economic abuse such as refusal to provide money. Some cases involved multiple types of abuse.

Osaka had 297 reported cases of abuse by family members, the highest number among Japan’s 47 prefectures, followed by 129 in Aichi, 114 in Kanagawa and 110 in Tokyo.

People aged 50 or more accounted for the majority of abusers.