Archives for : abuse

Abuse against women in Japan

The Japan Times recently published a story of mine about domestic violence in Japan. You can find an online version of the story here.

The main reason for writing this piece was the inauguration (more like a second coming really) of the Japan chapter of the international movement “White Ribbon Campaign,” which started in Canada in 1991. The following is from the WRCC’s website.

“White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Starting in 1991, we asked men to wear white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Since then the White Ribbon has spread to over 60 countries around the world.”

NPO helping with abuse against women in quake zone

During my most recent visit to Tohoku, to cover stories related to the 6-month anniversary of the disasters, I met the representative of an NPO that is trying to help female survivors who have been abused. It was not an entirely comfortable meeting — the rep herself, Kusano-san — was inspirational and delightful, but the subject matter obviously caused her as much grief as it does the women who are being subjected to the abuse. The majority of people that her NPO, Miyagi-Jonet, consults with are subjected to mental and physical abuse, but there are also instances of sexual abuse and even rape, she told me. The subtle way the the NPO deals with these problems is admirable and I am really grateful to the Japan Times for agreeing to run this story about what is a very sensitive issue.

Kusano-san called me this evening to thank me for the story, and I could sense real gratitude in her voice. I told her it was me who should — and is — grateful, for sharing the information she imparted. I hope she manages to find the extended support that she and her NPO is going to need.

The NPO maintains an excellent blog (Japanese only) which can be found here

PS The headline in the version above was not used in the paper itself.

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