A Taiwanese delegation visited the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday to seek ideas about how to establish programs to combat the abuse of children and spouses in their country.
The 16-member delegation of health, law enforcement and social policy officials heard from their Los Angeles County equivalents and toured the hospital's child sexual-abuse crisis center, which cared for 1,200 children last year from southern Los Angeles County.
The delegates said the center's approach, which spares victims the emotional trauma of several interviews by having law enforcement, medical personnel and other needed witnesses in one location, was a model for their homeland.
But Taiwanese officials said traditional views that a child is a parent's property and that a wife owes deference to her husband have made their mission a delicate one. They will ultimately have to strike a balance between what is culturally acceptable in their own nation and the U.S. procedures and penalties.
"What works here cannot always work in Taiwan," said the delegation leader, Taiwan provincial government commissioner Chin-Chun Yi. "We are still terribly behind in some areas but we are getting the system in place."
The Chinese Child Welfare Foundation reported in July that 2,080 child-abuse cases occurred in Taiwan from June 1993 through July 1994.