「虐待」は都市で起こる : 「児童相談所における虐待相談の処理件数」に関する2次分析 "Child Abuse" Occurs in Urban Areas : Secondary Analysis of the Number of Child Abuse Reports to Child Guidance Centers in Japan
The aim of this study is, through a secondary analysis of the number of child abuse reports filed with children's welfare centers, to examine activities to prevent child abuse in Japan. The number of cases of child abuse, filed in 47 prefectures and 12 ordinance-designed major cities, can be analyzed by focusing on the regional differences among them. Adopting the perspective of social constructionism, this study regards the number of child abuse reports as a rate of discovery rather than incidence, and analyzes the differences between urban areas and rural ones through some variables. The main findings can be summarized as follows. (1) Especially since the latter half of the 1990s, urban areas have been carrying out activities to prevent child abuse (in this study, termed "child abuse discovery activities"), and all areas have been converging on an average discovery rate. (2) In urban areas, new types of child abuse (sexual abuse, emotional/psychological maltreatment, and neglect) were discovered a few years later than physical maltreatment. In 2001, the first whole year when child abuse prevention law was put into force, all types of maltreatment were discovered relatively higher in urban areas. (3) Neighbors, acquaintances/friends and medical facilities have been discovering child maltreatment in urban areas significantly and particularly in 2001 most urban public organizations have higher rate significantly. In Japan, child abuse is often discussed in the context of contemporary and urban ways of life, such as "the weakening of local bonds and blood relationships," "increase in nuclear families" and "psychological troubles arising in the course of growth and development." However, as stated above, since the latter half of 1990s, urban areas have been the forerunners of child abuse prevention activities in Japan. Therefore, the way of life in urban areas cannot be identified as a causal factor of child abuse. Rather, the great interest that urban people, medical facilities and public organizations have in child abuse is behind the incidence of "abuse" in urban areas.