Social workers received some 44,000 complaints of physical, sexual and emotional harm to children last year, according to a report published Thursday by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry.
Around one-quarter of the reports were about physical abuse and 11 percent referred to sexual abuse. One-third of complaints alleged neglect.
One out of every five suspected victims had special needs, the report said. Of these, three-quarters suffered from mental or emotional difficulties, and 11% were categorized as being of limited intelligence.
Three out of four suspected perpetrators were family members, the report said.
Around 1,700 children were removed from their homes by court orders, while in 1,300 cases, the courts ordered that the minors stay at home, but under social workers’ supervision.
This reflected a change in approach among social workers, with more favoring leaving children in the familiar surroundings of their home, while working with the children and their parents.
Welfare Minister Haim Katz called on the public to be alert to signs of distress in children and report any suspicious cases to the authorities.
The report noted that the reporting methods had recently changed, making it difficult to compare the 2015 figures with previous years.
At the same time, it offered a comparison, saying that in 2013 there were 50,000 reports of harm to children, of which 15,500 were about physical harm, 6,000 about sexual abuse and 12,000 about neglect.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.