Finding mothers who need support while they are pregnant is widely seen as one of the keys to preventing child abuse.
But Kansai University professor Fumiharu Yamagata, who chaired the welfare ministry panel, said that was easier said than done.
“It’s difficult to find such mothers if even their families or schools don’t recognize” they need help, he said. The panel investigated cases involving children under 18 who died from abuse in the fiscal year ended March 2016.
The panel analyzed 72 child abuse cases involving 84 children from fiscal 2015 based on information from various governments.
When the murder-suicide cases were excluded, the tally of fatal abuse cases came to 48 involving 52 children.