SEOUL, July 30 (UPI) -- Confirmed cases of child abuse in South Korea jumped nearly 50 percent in 2014, Seoul's Welfare Ministry said in a report released Thursday.
The statistic follows reports of serious child abuse around the country that led to the passage of South Korea's Special Law on Child Abuse in 2014, news network YTN reported.
The Welfare Ministry's data indicated there were 17,791 reported cases of child abuse in 2014, up 36 percent from the previous year.
Of those cases, 10,027 were confirmed cases of child abuse, up 48 percent from 2013.
The numbers have grown substantially, but South Koreans are already familiar with horrific tales of child abuse that is leading to greater social awareness of the problem.
In late 2014, the country was rocked by the case of an 8-year-old girl in the southern city of Ulsan who was beaten to death by her adoptive mother when she simply requested the family go on a picnic.
The Korea Herald reported in early July that a 34-year-old mother strangled her 6-year-old son in the central city of Cheongju.
After her arrest, the woman said she was suffering from postpartum depression and was struggling with money after her husband had abandoned the family.
The primary cause of abuse, according to Seoul, was a lack of parenting knowledge and skills. The report stated 80 percent of abuse cases involved parents enforcing harsh discipline in households, while the remaining 20 percent occurred at childcare centers.
Other causes included social isolation of the parents, stress, and financial troubles.
Roughly one-third of abusers were unemployed.
The largest number of cases, 48 percent, included physical and emotional abuse, followed by child neglect, or failing to provide the child with basic needs such as food, hygiene and clothing.