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Sex Abuse in School for the Hearing Impaired

A school for the hearing impaired in Tainan became a hotbed of sex crime. In response to a complaint by the Humanistic Education Foundation, the Control Yuan conducted an investigation and found 164 alleged sex assault incidents over a span of eight years. From former principals, administrative personnel to directors at the Ministry of Education, total of 16 persons were impeached by the Control Yuan,.(Case no. 1000800179)

In the early years since its establishment in 1891, the Affiliated Hearing Impaired School of National University of Tainan was a school for the visually impaired. In 1968, the school became an institute dedicated to the hearing impaired. In 2002, it expanded to provide vocational training at the secondary level and admitted students with mental disabilities. In 2004, it became a mixed school for both the hearing impaired and traditional students. The Control Yuan’s investigation has uncovered 164 alleged rape and harassment incidents which took place in various locations, from the school bus, dormitory, campus, to students’ private homes. It has identified 90 perpetrators and 92 student victims, a majority of which have hearing disabilities. The school underreported the crime in an attempt to evade the problem. Aside from the 68 confirmed rape and harassment cases, 44 incidents were never investigated or dealt with, 26 were determined as false, 10 lacked investigation results, and 7 lacked evidentiary support. Moreover, 17 of these cases failed to go through the standard investigation procedure as required by law. Among the 157 incidents on campus, 87 were not properly reported to the Ministry of Education (MOE), of which 30 cases were unreported, 30 belatedly reported, 34 misreported as other types of violation.* On the part of the school, nothing was done to improve campus safety, raise awareness of gender equality, provide counseling, protection, or other forms of help to victims and perpetrators alike. Staff from the MOE was implicated for failing to supervise the school and detect problems. A total of 16 persons from the school and the MOE were impeached by the Control Yuan for serious negligence.

In response, the school installed 155 surveillance cameras monitored by staff on-duty and 558 emergency buttons around campus. It has also introduced a 24-hour patrol system covering all school grounds, improved dorm safety and offered staff training to increase awareness of gender equality. The MOE has adopted new monitoring mechanism and train staff members in investigating sexual assault or harassment on campus.

*7 cases were counted more than once.