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Photo: Molester Deterrence Activity Center
crime

Anti-train groper badge design contest announces this year’s winners

50 Comments

Back in 2015, a Japanese high school girl with the pseudonym Takako, a victim of chikan (train gropers) on multiple occasions, and her mother started a crowdfunding campaign. The pair were seeking funds to produce anti-chikan pins, which young women could attach to their bags or clothing to let would-be gropers that they were not going to take any abuse quietly.

That initiative eventually led to the creation of an annual design contest administered by the Molester Deterrence Activity Center activist organization. The Center has just announced the winners of this year’s contest, which attracted 581 entries designed by students from 126 schools across Japan.

The judges’ selection for the grand prize, pictured above, was created by Shota, a student at Sadowara Miyazaki Prefectural High School. Like all the entries, it contains the declarations “Groping is a crime” and “We won’t take this quietly” (the Japanese phrasing translates literally as “We won’t cry ourselves to sleep”), but Shota’s design also includes the additional warning that “Even if you’re cute, you won’t be forgiven” as a river otter attempts to flip up a schoolgirl’s pleated skirt, with the intended message, as per Shota’s design notes, that “No matter what kind of person does it, groping is wrong.”

In addition, the judges awarded outstanding performance awards to the “No!!!” badge from Feriko, of Musashino Art University, and the camera lens design from Niigata College of Art and Design’s Hideto Mori.

ac-2.png

Special jury prizes were also given to Chugoku Design College’s Komoko, with a badge reminding potential chikan that surveillance camera footage can and will be used against them in criminal investigations, and Osaka Information and Computer Science College’s Miki Hatoko, whose entry takes the stance that train groping is such a despicable act that even the non-human members of the animal kingdom are disgusted by it.

ac-3.png

Of course, no one in Japan thinks that groping women on the train is legal, so some people might be skeptical about how effective such badges would be. However, mental health professional and social worker Akira Saito, the contest’s advisor, believes such symbols can be an effective deterrent. “I’ve been involved with the treatment of over 2,000 sex offenders,” Saito says, “In interviews regarding their cognitive distortions, they primarily targeted junior and senior high school girls, but this wasn’t simply because they like the look of school uniforms. It’s because they see the uniforms as symbols of obedience.”

Because of that, Saito believes that a clear visual message of assertiveness has the potential to dissuade would-be chikan. “I’ve asked people I’ve treated how they would react to seeing [an anti-chikan] badge, and many of them responded with ‘I probably wouldn’t try to grope the person,’” Saito reports.

Previous winners of the Molester Deterrence Activity Center’s design contest have been sold through participating stores (listed here) and the organization’s affiliated online store, and the 2019 winners are likely to join them soon.

Source: Molester Deterrence Activity Center via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Social media users boast of plans to grope schoolgirls on day of Japan’s most important test

-- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

-- Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
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If this gives victims more confidence in speaking up about sexual assaults it is a great thing.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I would've thought the second design, with the annoyed schoolgirl, would be more effective than the winner. Using a cute-looking river otter as a symbol of a chikan just doesn't make the point effectively - and I had to read the article before I realized that was a pleated skirt that the chikan otter was trying to flip up. Still, I'm not Japanese, so what do I know.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Making "characters" the focal point of their campaign softens the image of a very real problem!

Get hard, focus on it from the stand point that it's a crime, let these perverts know they could go to jail.

Stop the pussy-footing around these issues and get serious!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

which young women could attach to their bags or clothing 

Why can‘t boys and men wear the badge as well.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

At this pace, in a few years train commuters are going to blinged and flared out with pins and badges and straps that it'll take a few minutes just to read through them all to know what exactly their prerogative is and whether or not they've been offended and/or need assistance or seat.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Why the hell would you let yourself be groped multiple times and not say anything then? If a guy puts his hands on you start screaming! There are dozens of witnesses around you. You're not alone in a mountain cabin or something where you have to be concerned for your survival. Not saying something during the crime only encourages the chikan doing it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I think these pins are too busy looking. How about a simple picture of a man's hand with a red slash through it? Do you really think someone will stop to read the fine print on these tiny badges? If they even notice them at all?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese policy for every social problem: “We’ve got a character badge for that!”

13 ( +13 / -0 )

If you want to discourage chikan, scream when they touch you don't pin something on your backpack

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It’s cute! I want one!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Fix and lessen the crazy working culture, try and get J-dudes to be more confident about themselves (seriously y'all) when asking women out, let people have time to start a family, and perverted thoughts and actions like these will start disappearing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is one of the things I dislike the most in Japan, everything HAS to be "kawaii".

I mean come on, an otter to represent a man groping a schoolgirl (a minor therefore a pedophile).

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well at least I now know to beware of otters on pubic transport.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Otter? Looks like a weasel to me. Regardless it's infantile. Distracts from the serious issue that it is, the second such article here today.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Buy the badges, wear them in public, let people around you see them and ask about them, to bring awareness to, and support the organization, which was started by a 15-year-old who was molested. Well done her.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It says: "Even if you look cute, it won't help."

The word 'Kawa' carries both the suggestion of 'Kawaii', and also 'Kawa' the river, which is part of 川獺 'Kawa-uso', a river otter. The second part Uso also carries the meaning of liar, so 'cute liar' is also implied in the winning image.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The one with the cute otter is the best one.

Seriously though, what is wrong with so many Japanese men?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And if the chikan ignore it the girls can always use the pin on the back...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, isn’t that a lighthearted and jovial theme for such demented, creepy and far too common scenario in Japan. One would think they would make their campaign quite scary and deterring instead of flaccid and ‘koiwaiiiiii!’

0 ( +2 / -2 )

typical backwards problem solving....

why put a badge on the victims asking the molesters not to touch them?

why no put a badge on the molesters forehead that says 'chikan'

chikan dont touch or film one time, usually they do it regularly and they even have spots and train line that they get more victims, and when they are arrested by the police they let them go with a pad on the back.

what if the police will put a traceable irremovable tag on them and allow students do access this info to avoid getting close to them or make them wear a bag of shame.

or how about enforcing a law that ACTUALLY punish the molesters?

this badge will just let the chikan know if this girl will say "No" or not if he assault her.

also im sure high school kids will think its not "cool" to wear such thing...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sooooo, how many people are actually going to wear this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So cute!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Burning BushToday 07:20 am JST

which young women could attach to their bags or clothing 

Why can‘t boys and men wear the badge as well.

I don't see any reason why they can't. I'm sure there are many young men who are just as ashamed and embarrassed when they are groped, and just as reluctant to confront and report as young women are.

I guess the next question would be, would wearing such a badge appeal to young men? Or might there be another approach that would work better for that demographic?

I think that is a good question, and sexual assault advocacy groups need to work more on being inclusive towards male victims.

Great comment to remind us of that, Burning Bush. :)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is one of the things I dislike the most in Japan, everything HAS to be "kawaii".

One of the things I don't miss about the US is the lack of enthusiasm for characters and mascots. It's so boring.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is the most retarded thing, ever.

Badges?

Really?

The amount of bs that is allowed to happen just so that a person doesn't have to stand up for themselves and deliver a loud STOP NOW, or even better a knee to the groin.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

sensei258Today 07:47 am JST

Why the hell would you let yourself be groped multiple times and not say anything then? If a guy puts his hands on you start screaming! There are dozens of witnesses around you. You're not alone in a mountain cabin or something where you have to be concerned for your survival. Not saying something during the crime only encourages the chikan doing it.

Is this a rhetorical question? Just in case it isn't, I'll do my best to answer from a female point of view.

Sexual assault is often viewed as something that is the fault of the victim. There is a lot of public commentary, which you can often see in the comment section on this very website, that puts the onus on the woman to somehow prevent herself from being sexually assaulted. This commentary rises to the level where women are even shamed for how they look and what they wear, as well as castigated for doing perfectly normal things, such as riding a crowded train or walking down the street after dark. This commentary is easily internalized by women and the result is self-blame and shame.

Even if women know on an intellectual level that it is not their fault, we still internalize the shame and blame ourselves. This is not an easy thing to simply ignore or shake off - it's actually a kind of insidious brainwashing that happens slowly over time, as a result of hearing victim-blaming commentary and other slut-shaming rhetoric from childhood. It's a continual din that women can't really ignore or shut out. It surrounds us.

In addition to the shaming rhetoric, there is also commentary that minimizes the harm caused by groping. Some people laugh and make jokes about it, and other people attempt to make light of the mental harm groping causes. I have even heard people say things like "well, at least she was not raped". This has the effect of gaslighting women into thinking that perhaps being groped is not that terrible, is part and parcel of being a women, and therefore must just be endured as unpreventable and inevitible.

This type of social brainwashing of women to internalize blame and shame, minimize their suffering, as well as try to endure sexual assault without complaint has often been referred to as "rape culture."

Growing up in such an environment means that when women are groped, shame kicks in and they do not want to call attention to themselves. Even if it means staying quiet and enduring being groped, women don't want to scream or shout out or call attention to what is happening to them. They bear it alone, in tears. They only have the strength to talk about it with trusted girlfriends (or perhaps their mother) whom they know to be empathetic and who won't shame them as they also have had the same experience. They live in fear of being slut-shamed in public. That is why the reporting rate for sex crimes in Japan is only 4% of the suspected total.

Another reason why women don't fight back or shout out is fear of a counter-attack. The person molesting them always denies what they are doing, which is bad enough, but they may also resort to physically attacking the woman. There have been such attacks even in public places, with women being stabbed (or in the US, shot). Women never know what reaction they may provoke when confronting a man who actually dares to break a social more as strong as sexually assault, in full public view, e.g., on the train or on the street. It's very, very frightening prospect to think that a strange man may attack you and know that you may not get help from those around you.

I hope that answers your question. :)

1 ( +6 / -5 )

However, mental health professional - no just person exists in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope there isn't a weasel backlash as a result of this campaign.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't blame the victim for the attacks, nor do I think it's their responsibility to prevent them. But once they do happened don't keep your mouth shut

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I hope the badge works. I was thinking, do males get groped?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sooooo, how many people are actually going to wear this?

Anyone can wear them, not only on clothing but on a bag or wherever. You can too. Why not buy a few - stand out as a person who cares about those around them?

I was sent a set of the original badges because I supported the campaign when it was looking for funding a few years ago. I have also bought some of the newer versions. I pin them onto my work bag, which I carry around my workplace - a high school. The students - male and female and other - see the colourful badges and often pause to have a look, to find out what they are about. They look at the pictures, read the words, and discuss them with one another.

I don't consider myself to be at high risk of sexual assault on public transport (though as a woman I am always at risk of assault and violence) but think it's very important to spread awareness.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sexual assault is often viewed as something that is the fault of the victim. 

Being groped, and sexual assault, are not the same thing.

I'm so tired of the excuses you post here.

1 million and one reasons why a woman is conditioned to be a victim.

It comes down to a simple choice, somewhere along the line.

Stand up for yourself, or be trampled.

The rest is badges.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

blue in green at 11:31 am, replying to a previous commenter who wrote:

Sexual assault is often viewed as something that is the fault of the victim. 

chooses to reply thusly:

Being groped, and sexual assault, are not the same thing.

I'm so tired of the excuses you post here.

It comes down to a simple choice, somewhere along the line.

Stand up for yourself, or be trampled.

The irony. blue in green is blaming the victims for listening to all those who continually blame the victims; and then telling the victims they are to blame for being assaulted.

Telling the teenagers it's their fault that grown men can't keep their filthy damn hands and other body parts to themselves.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think a large Seiri-chan badge would be a more effective deterrent.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The irony. blue in green is blaming the victims for listening to all those who continually blame the victims; and then telling the victims they are to blame for being assaulted.

I'm not victim blaming at all.

I'm saying standing up against these creeps would go a lot further

than pinning on a badge.

A person freezes, in some cases of sexual assault, it is not done in plain view

and usually no one can help.

Not so, in groping, you have the whole train car!

Make a stink, take the stupid masks off and raise your voice.

The whole reason it happens is because these creeps depend

on a pliant victim, so don't be one!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why can‘t boys and men wear the badge as well.

There's always someone who has to make it all about the men.

They should wear one, if they really care. I hope they do.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seriously though, what is wrong with so many Japanese men?

It's not just Japanese men, though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maria - that's nice of you. Now spread that logic and courage to elementary, JHS, and HS students, and oh, let's not forget the boys.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seriously though, what is wrong with so many Japanese men?

It's not just Japanese men, though.

I've never heard of a gaijin accused of being a chikan. Graffiti artist, yes. I guess there's a few, but the overwhelming majority of chikans are Japanese men. It is what it is.

My advice to females who are being felt up by a chikan is to punch, squeeze or kick him where it especially hurts or anywhere they can to make him feel pain and realize the high price of feeling them up. Of course this may not be effective on masochists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Q: Why does the government always trivialize issues by pasting labels and mascots on them?

A: To obscure them and downplay their seriousness.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The pair were seeking funds to produce anti-chikan pins, which young women could attach to their bags or clothing to let would-be gropers that they were not going to take any abuse quietly.

So.... those aren't wearing it are fair game?

Here's a better campaign. Kick 'em in the 'nads, even if you have to follow them off the train to do it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

blue in greenToday 11:31 am JST

Being groped, and sexual assault, are not the same thing.

Sexual assault is an umbrella term that includes groping as well as rape. This is not my personal definition; it is the definiton under the law. If you disagree with it, then you are saying that your expertise in the law is greater than that of lawmakers. Are you a lawyer, by chance?

I'm so tired of the excuses you post here.

I'm not aware of posting any excuses. You seem to be using that particular word as a way of saying that women have no reason to feel the way they do. In other words, you are completely discounting womens' collective lived experience. Does that mean you think you know better than women how women should feel, think, and behave when they have experienced sexual assault? That's interesting, since you don't seem to be a woman.

1 million and one reasons why a woman is conditioned to be a victim.

"Condition" means "have a strong influence on".

"Victim" means "a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action."

I am not sure then, what exactly you mean by "conditioned to be a victim". When a woman has been sexually assaulted, she has been harmed by that action. One is not conditioned to feel harmed by crime. One is harmed as a result of crime.

It comes down to a simple choice, somewhere along the line.

Stand up for yourself, or be trampled.

Can I just check what you mean here? The context here is people who have been victims of crime; but a person who is a victim of a crime is not a victim because they failed to stand up for themselves. Crime is fairly random, and there is not much people can do in order to prevent becoming a victim. Your statement here is therefore rather confusing. It rather looks like you are ... wait for it ... blaming the victim.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, i guess this is worth a try, it seems all too cutesy, yet again.

Personally, I like the yellow camera badge, and a good ole kick in the groin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SerranoToday 01:18 pm JST

My advice to females who are being felt up by a chikan is to punch, squeeze or kick him where it especially hurts or anywhere they can to make him feel pain and realize the high price of feeling them up. Of course this may not be effective on masochists.

Let me offer some insight as a woman who has tried to fight back against chikan.

Kicking or hitting them: unless you are bigger and stronger than they are, or have some special training, or just get really, really, lucky, you won't really hurt them. Men are bigger and stronger than women, and even if you get a good blow in, they will still be standing and it's not going to phase them much, if at all.

Also, if you attempt this and don't hurt them enough that they are on the floor unable to respond, you are setting yourself up to be retaliated against. So not only do you have a sex criminal who is bigger and stronger than you confronting you, you have a very angry sex criminal who is bigger and stronger than you confronting you. I'd hesitate to do that unless I had backup.

FYI I have done this before, but I also had backup in the form of my boyfriend and a few of his friends who were right there, behind me, waiting to see what the guy would do. He backed off. But what if he hadn't? Do you want to go to jail? Next point ...

2) If you kick or hit someone, you are committing assault under Japanese law. Under the law in Japan, you cannot take revenge against a pervert who has groped you by kicking or hitting them. If you need to hit or kick them to stop them, that may be permissible - but the prosecutor and the judge would have to see it your way. Personally, as a foreign woman, I do not want to take that chance.

I know a girl who pepper sprayed a guy who tried to attack her, but when the police came they took her to the koban and let him go, because she had used pepper spray.

3) Funny you should mention masochists. I am sincerely not joking when I tell you this next story. I once confronted a flasher/masturbater in Yoyogi Park who was waiting right outside the women's toilet. Being the scrappy woman I am, I wasn't so much traumatized as I was mad. I yelled at him in Japanese, and said something like "What are you doing you dirty pervert! Are you masturbating? What's wrong with you! Get out of here now!" His reaction was to say "Yes! I am! and to wank even harder.

TL/DR: men aren't afraid of women, so if women go looking for a fight they will more than likely be on the losing end.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, according to some accounts, women also grop...

And some women(girls) accuse somebody just for financial interest.

So, nowadays, I'm always careful not to fall in traps of false accusation.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Way too cute for a serious message, but that is Japan for you. I think these things will become collectors items.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And some women(girls) accuse somebody just for financial interest.

So, nowadays, I'm always careful not to fall in traps of false accusation.

This answers the question of why girls and women are loathe to report an attack.

Despite the statistics that prove that incidents of false accusations are no higher than false accusation of any other crime (robbery, shoplifting, financial scam), it is *only the female victims of sexual assault who are immediately doubted and told to prove they are not lying.

Who wants to go through an assault on oneself a second time?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

girl_in_tokyo: I know a girl who pepper sprayed a guy who tried to attack her, but when the police came they took her to the koban and let him go, because she had used pepper spray.

Those police are idiots. They expected her to fight him off with no weapons I guess.

 If you kick or hit someone, you are committing assault under Japanese law. Under the law in Japan, you cannot take revenge against a pervert who has groped you by kicking or hitting them. If you need to hit or kick them to stop them, that may be permissible - but the prosecutor and the judge would have to see it your way. Personally, as a foreign woman, I do not want to take that chance.

Understood! Perhaps the best thing to do is simply try to hold onto the guy so as to not let him get away while screaming for help.

Thank you for your insight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've never heard of a gaijin accused of being a chikan.

Just because you have never heard of it does not mean that it has never happened. Japan Today has had stories about gaijin getting busted for exposing themselves so it is unlikely that no gaijin has ever been busted for being a chikan.

New York City has a major problem with groping and flashers on trains and subways but unless you follow NYC local news, you will not hear about it.

Only a fraction of minor and even major crime gets reported in any country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is one of the things I dislike the most in Japan, everything HAS to be "kawaii".

One of the things I don't miss about the US is the lack of enthusiasm for characters and mascots. It's so boring.

Ya must not have been around when Gritty arrived, lol

"Gritty Love: Philadelphia Flyers mascot is a big hit"

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/sports/2018/10/14/gritty-love-philadelphia-flyers-mascot-big-hit/1644631002/

Gritty has schmoozed with Jimmy Fallon, gave a bushy bro hug to the Phillie Phanatic and saw his wild-haired, googly-eyed, fuzzy face plastered on beer cans , protest signs and even as tattoos.

Pick a time of day and there's Gritty: "Good Morning America ," ''Last Week Tonight " and "Weekend Update" all put their comic spin on the Philadelphia Flyers' mascot.

Hungry? Hop in an Uber for a Philly food tour and load up on Gritty cupcakes , Gritty mac 'n cheese fries , Gritty Italian ice and, of course, the Gritty cheesesteak (steak, whiz wit, French fries and Cheetos).

Gritty's been loved and lampooned, swept into politics and become more than just an orange face that turned into a No. 1-trending hashtag.

There's little need to play 82 games this season to find the NHL rookie of the year: it's Gritty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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