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How common is domestic violence in Taiwan?

Intimate partner violence, child abuse, elderly abuse, and other cases of domestic violence (DV) have all steadily increased since reporting began in 2004 (with one drop in 2011). The total number of reported cases is close to 120,000. 90% of intimate partner violence victims are women.

What to do if you suffer domestic violence in Taiwan?

Report the incident to the police, a hospital, or call 113. The one-stop 24-hour 113 hotline offers services and advice in English, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Cambodian, as well as Taiwanese and Mandarin. You can also come directly to the Garden of Hope. We can help refer you to a hospital for a medical report, the police for a criminal report, and a DV Center to make a further assessment.

What happens when I call 113?

Depending on where you are and the nature of your problem, your call will be transferred to an appropriate authority – such as your local DV Center or the police.

What happens when the police arrive?

The police are responsible for protecting your safety. If you need immediate protection or shelter they will call a social worker to arrange that for you.

What’s a protection order?

There are 13 different kinds of protection orders, but three main kinds:

1. Emergency orders – issued in 4 hours in emergency cases

2. Temporary orders – issued in cases of protection

3. Standard orders – last for two years, but unlike the above must be assessed

What will the police do after you get a protection order?

The police will follow up to check on your safety within 24 hours of an emergency order, 3 days in a temporary order, and 6 days in cases of standard protection orders.

What evidence do I need to get a protection order?

Because protection orders come under the civil rather than the criminal code the level of proof required is relatively low. To get an emergency protection order you do not need to provide any evidence.

What is the law in Taiwan?

Taiwan was the first country in Asia to pass DV law in 1998. The law clearly makes domestic violence a criminal offence, protects children and non-cohabiting partners, includes a variety of different services, including services for perpetrators, and establishes a prevention and recovery network. DV protects against all acts of violence, including physical, emotional, financial, control, and other threats.

Am I protected by DV Law?

DV law protects against acts of family violence. The definition of family in the law is pretty broad. People protected by the law include spouses, ex-spouses, cohabitants, parents, children, other relatives, past and present. If you are a foreign national living in Taiwan you are protected by the law.

DV Centers

DV Centers are in every city and county in Taiwan. They bring together housing support, protection, shelter, financial support, counseling, legal advice, and other services. CSOs like the Garden of Hope work together with DV Centers to offer their services.

Court DV Service Centers

Courts in Taiwan have DV Service Centers to offer help to survivors of violence who are applying for a protection order or are involved in other legal cases. The Service Center cannot give you a protection order (that’s the judge’s job) but they can give you advice.

What other services are there for survivors?

There are lots of services for survivors of DV in Taiwan. If you need it, you should be able to get shelter, get help filing a report, getting a medical examination, making court appearances, applying for legal aid, financial support, psychological counseling, career services, translation and others.

Who runs the shelters?

Most shelters in Taiwan are outsourced by the government and run by NGOs like the Garden of Hope.

What about new-migrants?

New migrants are statistically more vulnerable to DV. In 2012, 0.62% of Taiwanese spouses suffered from DV, 1.64% of new migrants, 1.11% of migrants from China, Hong Kong and Macao. However the most at-risk women are indigenous spouses at 2.32%.

What special services are there for migrant women?

You are entitled to apply for extended shelter care and extensions on your visa, and get access to all the information you should need in English, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian.

Who can stay in a GOH shelter?

Women over the age of 18 and under the age of 65, and their children aged 18 or under, who are forced to leave home due to gender or domestic violence.

How long can I stay?

The above varies from city to city. Some cities with fewer resources may provide shelter for only one week. Taipei City offers the best service with long-term shelter up to one year.

Who decides how long I can stay?

You and your social worker can discuss how long you need to stay in the shelter.

When can I be sheltered?

GOH shelters are open 24 hours a day.

What services do shelters offer?

We start by helping you get through the crisis period, then start guiding you to organize your life, understand your rights and help you apply for support and funding to help protect yourself. In the long-term, we offer life-counseling and companionship on the road to building your self-confidence and helping you move towards independent living.

We can help give you access to legal support, take you to the hospital for treatment or to get an injury report, accompany you to court, go with you back to your home to pick up your stuff.

Having someone with you to guide you through the process of recovery is very important. Our social workers and life counselors provide that services. Our staff work around the clock so there is always someone at the shelter 24 hours a day if you need support. Outside the shelter, social workers will accompany survivors to court appearances, to the hospital for treatment or injury reports, and on other appointments and errands where you will need help or moral support.

As well as one-on-one services, at the GOH’s shelters communal life is an important part of the recovery and rebuilding process. We organize group activities inside and outside the shelter, our spiritual counselors lead group sessions, and we hold day trips so that women and their children can build relationships with each other.

At the end of each year, GOH shelters organize family reunions where our former residents come back to see us to catch up, tell us about their latest challenges, and stay connected to our support network. At these reunions women who have been through DV will share their stories to give encouragement to other women or are just embarking on the road to recovery.

What are the rules about living in a GOH shelter?

The main rule is security. You must keep the location of the shelter a secret. For your own safety and the safety of the other residents you must not tell your friends or relatives where you are, even which area of the city, or any other identifying features that might lead to discovery of the shelter’s location. You are also not allowed to drink in the shelter or harass other residents.

What about non-Christians?

The Garden of Hope is a secular organization founded by Christians and based on Christian-values. In the shelter, residents are introduced to the Christian faith in the shelter, encouraged to join in prayers before mealtimes, or to bless the food in their own way, and invited to take part in evening prayer meetings once every two weeks. These are not mandatory activities and non-Christians are made to feel welcome and comfortable in the shelter.

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