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54% of nursing caregivers in Hokkaido harassed by residents: survey

SAPPORO -- More than half of workers at nursing care facilities in Hokkaido said they have been subjected to sexual or other types of harassment by residents, while over 30 percent of staff said they had abused residents themselves, according to a survey conducted by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.

The results of the survey were released by the prefectural government Sept. 4.

The survey was distributed to a total of 300 staff at 30 nursing care facilities and a total of 200 staff at 20 facilities for those with disabilities in May and June. Of those working at nursing care facilities, 75 percent (224 people) responded, while 90 percent (179 people) working at facilities for those with disabilities responded.

Fifty-four percent (121 people) working at nursing care facilities said they had been harassed by residents, while 39 percent (69 people) working at facilities for those with disabilities said the same. When the Mainichi Shimbun tallied the cases of harassment based on content, physical violence, such as being hit and pinched comprised 42 percent (93 people) at nursing care facilities, and 32 percent (57 people) at facilities for those with disabilities. There were some serious cases, such as one in which a worker suffered broken bones after having a chair thrown at them.

In addition, there were cases of sexual harassment, including groping of the breasts, which 19 percent (43 people) working at nursing care facilities and 5 percent (nine people) working at facilities for those with disabilities said they had experienced.

Meanwhile, asked whether the workers themselves had abused residents, 35 percent (78 people) working at nursing care facilities and 29 percent (52 people) working at facilities for those with disabilities said they had. The most commonly cited reasons were "being extremely stressed" and "being sexually or violently harassed."

(Japanese original by Kotaro Adachi, Hokkaido News Department)

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