Third of child sex abuse victims reported to Japan consultation centers had mental impairments: report

Staff Report

A health ministry survey found that 1 out of 3 victims of child prostitution or pornography cases reported to child consultation centers have some kind of mental or developmental impairment, the Asahi Shimbun reported Monday.

The survey conducted on sexually abused children reported to the centers, the first of its kind, also said that 20 percent of the victims were elementary school pupils or younger, the report said.

The health ministry’s research team sent a questionnaire to 2,934 child welfare officers nationwide in February and received a reply from 78.3 percent of them.

According to the survey, 266 victims of sexual abuse were reported between April and September last year, out of which more than 90 percent were girls. Those aged between 13 and 15 accounted for 43.6 percent of the victims, 33.5 percent were aged between 16 and 18 and 18 percent were aged between 6 and 12. Six children aged between 1 and 5 were also involved, the report said.

The survey said 59 percent of the children were involved in prostitution, 31 percent in pornography and 10 percent in both.

Out of the reported cases, 31 children were judged by the centers as having mental disabilities and 28 as having developmental disabilities.

The survey reportedly found that 64.7 percent of the victims had troubled relationships with their parents, and 43.6 percent had run away from home or stayed away from home overnight without giving notice.