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Information for Special Cases
April 1, 2022

CHILD ABUSE: The Children’s Bureau of the Ministry of Interior and Social Workers in local governments are responsible for the protection of children. Social workers or police will refer the case to prosecutors for possible child abuse investigations. Everyone, including police, social workers, educators, doctors, nurses, judicial employees and other child welfare staff is required to report suspected child abuse. Social workers will arrange for a U.S. citizen child to stay in a shelter when he/she is removed from the home. Social workers in local governments have expertise in helping child victims. They will arrange medical examinations for all children (regardless of nationality) who may have been physically or sexually abused.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Domestic violence is considered a crime in Taiwan. If you suffer from this kind of violence, be sure to ask for help immediately. Please dial “110” or the nationwide toll free hotline “113” for emergency help. Report to police and keep written records of all incidents. Preserve evidence such as medical records documenting injuries, photos of injuries, police records, damaged clothing and weapons used against you. If you have a court issued restraining order, present this to the police for use in the arrest of the offender.

There are domestic violence shelters in Taiwan. Most shelters have 10 to 20 beds and can take clients on a walk-in basis if it is an emergency. Children may also stay at the shelters. The domestic violence hotline is “113.” English speakers will be available to assist.

When it is necessary to have the abused child confront or identify the offender, prosecutors will take all necessary protective measures to assure the child’s safety and privacy. Call “113” for child abuse and there will be an English speaker available to assist.

HOMICIDE:  An autopsy is required in homicide cases.  Surviving family members are sometimes allowed to consult with the prosecutor about sentencing and testify as witnesses.   The prosecutor may sometimes delay the disposition of the estate of the deceased until the conclusion of the investigation and prosecution.

KIDNAPPING:  AIT should be notified immediately in the event of a kidnapping.  However, Taiwan police and prosecutors will lead the investigation if a U.S. citizen is kidnapped.

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE:  Physical evidence is very important in sexual assault cases, and can deteriorate as time passes. As such, victims should not change clothes, avoid bathing if possible, and have a physical exam at the first opportunity.  You should take these steps even if you are unsure about whether to report the crime to police.  If you decide to pursue a prosecution at a later time, these steps preserve evidence that will assist the prosecutor.  A consular officer or after-hours duty officer from the American Institute in Taiwan may be able to accompany victims of sexual assault to the medical exam.

Rape is one form of sexual assault. Any lewd conduct or sexual intercourse with a person without their consent, or lewd or sexual conduct towards a person under the age of 16 years old is considered sexual assault.  In Taiwan, the definition of sexual intercourse includes the joining of the sexual organs, oral sex, anal sex and inserting objects into the genitals or anus.  Taiwan’s violence and sexual assault hotline numbers are 113. Male victims of sexual assault may also call 0800-013-999 for assistance.  English speakers will be available to assist at all hotline numbers.

Victims of sexual assault should seek medical attention and report to the police as soon as possible for help.  Victims should also have a medical examination in order to preserve evidence. Although a medical exam is not required, it may be more difficult to prove a case at trial if a victim has not undergone an examination.  The forensic sexual assault exam normally is the same as in the U.S.  The examination fee will be charged to the Taiwan authorities. If you report to the police first, the police department will assign a police officer of the same gender to accompany the victim to the hospital for examination and evidence collection, with the victim’s consent.  The victim is also allowed to bring a friend or family member to provide moral support.

When investigating cases, police interview victims in private order to protect privacy and to help alleviate fear.  While the case is under investigation and during the trial, statutory representatives, spouses, parents, family members, relatives or social workers from the Sexual Assault Prevention Center may accompany victims.  All necessary protective measures will be taken to assure a victim’s safety and privacy when confronting or identifying the offender. During the investigation, a victim’s personal information will not be disclosed unless the victim agrees or it is vital to the investigation.  Documents produced during the investigation will not bear the victim’s name, age, address or other personal information.

You should get medical attention to determine if you have been injured in any way and to discuss treatment and prevention options for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  Emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) and HIV prophylaxis are available if needed. The American Institute in Taiwan can provide you with a list of local doctors. For more information click here.  Rape crisis hotline:  113. English speakers are available to assist.