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If you are reading this, it is likely that you have experienced domestic or gender-based abuse/violence in Taiwan. This FAQ page is here, based on our experiences, to give you information on every aspect of seeking support, from who to contact in an emergency to keeping you safe longer term with a stay in a shelter.

Everyone’s experience of abuse is different, and these are all of the options open to you. It is worth reading the whole page to understand what is available. The first step is to seek help. Everyone has a right to live free from abuse, please remember that you are not alone.

  1. How common is domestic violence in Taiwan?
  2. Between 2005 and 2020 on average, over 100,000 cases of domestic abuse were reported. Reports included cases of intimate partner violence, child protection and elder abuse. 54% of reports were of intimate partner violence, with 86% of victims being female. Of these women, 79% were Taiwan citizens, 4% were citizens of the People’s Republic of China, 5% held foreign nationality and 12% were unidentified. (Source: Department of Protective Services of the Ministry of Health and Welfare).

  3. What about new immigrants?
  4. New immigrants are statistically more vulnerable to domestic violence. According to case reports from 2019, the likelihood of becoming victim to domestic violence varies by nationality. Most likely to experience domestic violence are those of foreign nationality (2.1%), followed by those Taiwanese indigenous populations, citizens from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau (0.47%) and finally Taiwanese non-indigenous populations (0.41%).

  5. What to do if I suffer domestic/gender-based violence in Taiwan?
  6. Regardless of your nationality or identity, you can report the incident to the police, a hospital, or call 113. The one-stop 24-hour 113 hotline offers services and advice in English, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Cambodian, Japanese, as well as Taiwanese and Mandarin. When reporting the incident, it is helpful to have as much information prepared as possible, such as dates, times, and places where events occurred, what happened, your current situation and who was involved. If this is not possible or you can’t recall everything then that is ok, but any information will enable the authorities to provide you appropriate advice and support on what to do next.

    If you are a migrant worker, you can also call 1955. For a non-native student you can call 0800-789-007 as well. For those who hold a different residence status to those mentioned above, please call the National Immigration Agency hotline on (02)23883095. The above services are all provided in English, Indonesian and Vietnamese. If there are more complex issues you would like to discuss with a specialist, please contact us, the Garden of Hope Foundation and we can connect you with an appropriate professional.

    *If you feel there is an immediate threat to your personal safety, please call the police on 110. This is to ensure your own safety.

  7. What happens when I call 113?
  8. Depending on where you are and the nature of your problem, your call will be transferred to an appropriate authority – such as your local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center or the police.

  9. What happens when the police arrive?
  10. The police are responsible for protecting your safety. If you need immediate protection or shelter, they will call a social worker to arrange that for you.

  11. What is Taiwan’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act?
  12. Taiwan’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act came into force in 1998, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to allow Protection Orders to be issued in civil cases. Protection services mechanism is built around the needs of the victim, allowing survivors of domestic violence to receive support, counseling and even access to shelters. Financial subsidies, legal advice and emotional support to overcome anxiety around judicial proceedings are also covered by these services.

  13. Am I eligible for protection under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act?
  14. ‘Domestic violence’ can be defined as physical, emotional or economic harassment, controlling behavior, coercion or any other unlawful offence perpetrated by a family member. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, a family member is defined as a spouse or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, current or former partner whether of the same or opposite sex, parents, children, siblings or other relatives. If you are a foreigner residing in Taiwan and are the victim of domestic violence, you are eligible for protection under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

    Article 3 of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act considers the following and their underage children as family members:

    1. Spouse or former spouse.
    2. Persons with an existing or former cohabitation relationship, a relationship between a householder and household members or a relationship between household members.
    3. Persons with an existing or former relationship between lineal relative by blood or lineal relative by marriage.
    4. Persons with an existing or former relationship between collateral relative by blood or collateral relative by marriage within four degrees of kinship. (For those in a same-sex relationship, this is not applicable to the relatives of the spouse who are not resident at the same address. For more information on this, please contact social workers at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center.)

  15. What’s a protection order?
  16. There are three types of Civil Protection Orders:

    1. Ordinary Protection Orders: Must be requested by the victim, valid for up to two years.
    2. Temporary Protection Orders: Must be requested by the victim, valid until the Ordinary Protection Order comes into force.
    3. Emergency Protection Orders. Requested by the prosecutor, police, municipal government or county/city government. Must be issued in written form within four hours from the time of application, valid until an Ordinary Protection Order comes into force.

  17. What evidence do I need to get a protection order?
  18. The term ‘domestic abuse’ covers cases of physical, emotional or economic abuse and therefore the method of evidence collection differs case by case. Generally, evidence could include an Injury Certificate, photographic or physical evidence, voice or video recordings, witness statements or a medical certificate issued by a psychiatric doctor.

  19. What will the police do after I received a protection order?
  20. As soon as they receive notice from the courts that a protection order has been issued, the police will move to execute it. If the police are notified of a subsequent case of domestic violence, or that the offender has violated the terms of the protection order, they will take the offender into custody.

  21. What services does Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center (DVSAPC) provide?
  22. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center (DVSAPC) is in every city and county in Taiwan. They bring together housing support, protection, shelter, financial support, counseling, legal advice, and other services. CSOs like the Garden of Hope work together with DVSAPCs to offer their services.

  23. What is Domestic Violence and Family Case Service Center in Court?
  24. Courts in Taiwan have Domestic Violence and Family Case Service Centers to offer help to the survivors of violence who is applying for a protection order or is involved in family-related legal cases. The Service Center cannot give you a protection order since this is the judge’s job, but they can give you advice.

  25. What other services are there for survivors?
  26. There are lots of services for survivors of domestic violence in Taiwan. If you need it, you should be able to get shelter, get help filing a report, getting a medical examination, making court appearances, applying for legal aid, financial support, psychological counseling, career services, translation and others.

  27. What services do shelters offer?
  28. We start by helping you get through the crisis period, then start guiding you to organize your life, understand your rights and help you apply for support and funding to help protect yourself. In the long-term, we offer life-counseling and companionship on the road to building your self-confidence and helping you move towards independent living.

    We can help give you access to legal support, take you to the hospital for treatment or to get an injury report, accompany you to court, go with you back to your home to pick up your stuff.

    Having someone with you to guide you through the process of recovery is very important. Our social workers and life counselors provide these services. Our staff work around the clock so there is always someone at the shelter 24 hours a day if you need support. Outside the shelter, social workers will accompany survivors to court appearances, to the hospital for treatment or injury reports, and on other appointments and errands where you will need help or moral support.

    As well as one-on-one services, at the GOH’s shelters communal life is an important part of the recovery and rebuilding process. We organize group activities inside and outside the shelter, our spiritual counselors lead group sessions, and we hold day trips so that women and their children can build relationships with each other.

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    At the end of each year, GOH shelters organize family reunions where our former residents come back to see us to catch up, tell us about their latest challenges, and stay connected to our support network. At these reunions women who have been through DV will share their stories to give encouragement to other women or are just embarking on the road to recovery.

  29. Who runs the shelters?
  30. Most shelters in Taiwan are outsourced by the government and run by NGOs like the Garden of Hope.

  31. Who can stay in a shelter run by the Garden of Hope?
  32. Victims of gender or domestic violence and their children who have been referred to GOH by the DVSAPCs are eligible to stay in a GOH shelter. Priority is given to families where children are underage, or where children have witnessed domestic violence. The shelter provides a temporary residence for victims and their children who have left a domestic violence situation. It is a safe space where victims are able to gather resources, deal with their domestic violence issues and plan for the future. GOH also runs shelter exclusively for migrant workers. The shelter aims to work with migrant workers, who have been treated inappropriately or with special needs, and their underage children to rest and rehabilitate before returning to job market or back to home country. In addition, the Taiwanese government has implemented many LGBTQ+-friendly policies. Please contact social workers at the DVSAPCs if you would like to learn more about the types of support on offer, such as information on shelters or appropriate measures that can be taken in individual cases.

  33. When can I be sheltered?
  34. Taiwan’s shelters provide a 24-hour-a-day service. As soon as the DVSAPCs receives notification that you have filed a report of domestic violence and are in need of shelter, workers at the DVSAPCs will assess the particular circumstances of your case and contact the relevant shelter organization to provide a placement for you.

  35. How long can I stay?
  36. Emergency placements generally provide shelter for between one day and two weeks. Short-term placements are from two weeks to up to three months. Mid-term placements are from three to six months and long-term placements are for over six months. The length of placement will be decided by a social worker assessment and after discussion with the client.

  37. Who decides how long I can stay?
  38. The length of stay in a shelter is decided through regular assessments with the assigned social worker as well as in discussion with the client herself. This must also be agreed upon with the authorities of the local city government. Additionally, children who move into the shelter with their mother will generally move out when she moves out.

  39. What are the rules about living in a GOH shelter?
  40. The main rule is security. You must keep the location of the shelter a secret. For your own safety and the safety of the other residents you must not tell your friends or relatives where you are, even which area of the city, or any other identifying features that might lead to discovery of the shelter’s location. You are also not allowed to drink in the shelter or harass other residents.

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