Emergency social services in Iran have recorded 16,000 cases of child abuse and 14,599 instances of domestic violence in the past six months.
According to Reza Jafari, director of the Social Welfare Emergency Department, 12 percent of child abuse cases were reported a day after the incident had taken place, and 4 percent a week later. Nearly 38 percent of the abused children were 12 years old and younger, while 12 percent were between the ages of 12 and 18. Roughly 29 percent had been the victims of physical assault, and 3 percent had been sexually molested.
“In most instances, a neighbor would notice the abuse, but unfortunately would never call the emergency services number 123,” Jafari said. “Reporting abuse is part of our civic duties. There have been cases when a neighbor had known about abusive behavior for months but had not notified the emergency services.”
Jafari noted that child abuse didn’t occur only in homes in Iran, but was part of a broader social and cultural problem which required the attention of the government agencies and the public.