- no.19, pp.40-57, 2012-07-15
Child abuse has become a social problem since the 1990's. The press says repeatedly that child abuse is "increasing" and "getting worse", even the government has taken many measures against child abuse after the Child Abuse Prevention Law was enacted in 2000. In this paper, I describe how the measures have changed the discourse about family and the system and policy of child welfare, tracing the process that child abuse has turned into a social problem. The measures against abuse made the concept of abuse itself change and expand, and added many restrictions to parents' behavior. On the assumption that abuse is caused mainly through domestic pathology rather than by income differential, the measures have changed the system that supervised and guided parents. The measures regarding parents as the child's assailants rather than as protectors of the child's rights, both parents' responsibility and the government authority to intervene in a family have been strengthened sharply.