crime

Stop it! Anti-groper app becomes smash hit

46 Comments
By Shingo Ito

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Cameras on trains PLEASE! I’ve got nothing to hide, but everything to lose.

Other Asian countries already have this, so it's feasible. Some of them even have whistles next to the strap hangers on buses.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If it helps, great. Some women apparently need it because they are afraid to scream themselves. It's actually sad that we need it in the first place. Perhaps we need to look deeper into why people become chikan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I've stopped three chikan to date. It's fun watching them cower when someone stands up to them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Or you can just yell "Stop it"...

I remember when I still used trains, sometimes so packed I literally had no room to fiddle with my phone or take off my jacket. What makes them think other passengers might notice a "groper alert" on someone else's phone? What if the train is so packed the victim can't use its phone?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Ok, who wants to bet that this will be used incorrectly half the time? And that people will be found guilty based on a screaming phone? Perhaps their should also be an app thats screams “Wasn’t me!” or “False accuser, call the police”

Cameras on trains PLEASE! I’ve got nothing to hide, but everything to lose.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I agree with Joe Blow. Cameras from the top, sides and bottom. The truth WILL BE KNOWN!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Love it! What a fantastic idea. I downloaded it out of curiosity. The alarm isn't very loud but it says "yamete kudasai" loud enough that anyone nearby would look around to see what was going on. I'm sure that would be enough to make the chikan stop, which is the main aim. Highly recommended, ladies.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There were nearly 900 groping and other harassment cases on Tokyo trains and subways reported in 2017,

And, these were only the reported ones, which is probably only around 20% of the actual cases (if that many). And, this is just one city in safety japan. The fact this app has been downloaded so many times shows there is a real problem and a real fear in women.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am not blaming the victim but there is definitely something wrong with this society if women are bred and raised to be scared to call out a groper.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

IloveCoffee Today  10:05 pm JST

@thepersoniamnow

I am not saying women should physically fight the guy, i am saying they should stand up for themselves and confront him in anyway they can. If she can't punch him, then spray him, shout at him, make scene, make it known that you are strong and you don't allow anybody to touch you.

It's easy to say what you would do, or what you think others should do, when you have the luxury of pondering it while sitting at a computer keyboard and then posting it on the Internet.

And then you're actually in the situation ... and you realize that it is usually quite different, and usually not so simple.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ilovecoffee

I’m a former doorman, did security in my 20s, and I get ur point. What I am saying is, people talk until theres a big guy or threat in front of them.

THEN you feel the fear! I think its ludacris to expect woman to “fight back”. Yes I also wish they would, but your assumption is from my POV, all talk.

When theres a massive threat to your very well being in your face, 90% of humans do the same thing.

I’m willing to wager, so would you!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It really is so easy to say what you would do in that situation until you're in it yourself. You're standing on the train, minding your own business. Then you feel it. You start to panic, but think "hey, it's a little crowded, maybe it wasn't intentional, no need to get upset..." But the touching continues. From simply brushing to grabbing. You freeze, wanting to scream or turn around or do something but you worry - will anyone do anything? Will anyone believe me (I mean, half the responses in this comment section are men worried about being falsely accused)? Will he retaliate and hurt me? And, especially if you're a foreigner, will anyone care? So you shut your eyes and hope it passes soon, moving away as soon as you're able.

It's not all "fight or flight," many women freeze when being sexually assaulted as a defense mechanism too. If this app actually helps women, who find they can't find the strength to open their mouths but are still looking on their phone while it's happening and can push a button, I'm all for it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyo: Think about this. I've been groped on trains more times that I can count or remember. I've also been catcalled, rubbed on, had my skirt pulled up, peeped at, followed, stalked, cursed at, and witnessed a friend getting punched in the face by a guy for no reason other than she was in his way.

I read your numerous posts with interest. As hard as it is to believe all the bad luck and problems you have in Japan, it is even harder for me to understand why you would stay here if they are true. Don't torture yourself for no reason. If you move back to a civilized country you can drive your nice car in safety to work, and in my country you can even have a gun right there beside you to take care of anyone who offends you. Assuming you want to sacrifice yourself and your sanity in Japan to "make a point", I would suggest to any woman to learn Tae Kwon Do. You will then be very well equipped to handle the vast majority of these perverts with something as simple as a quick and powerful punch to the sternum. Poor shokubutsu-man won't know what hit him.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I recall a Japan Times article quoting that false reports of groping occur about 10 times a year.

Now you do the math. Only 4% of sex crimes are estimated to be reported. 900 groping incidents are reported each year. How many groping incidents are not reported?

It's not faulty logic when the facts say that false reporting, particularly false reporting that is malicious and results in prosecution, almost never happens. It is a fact that "there is "an infinitesimal chance" for your average guy to be mistakenly or falsely accused of groping.

And yet when it happens, it destroys that man's life. Your argument is 'it doesn't happen that much, so boo hoo'. Sorry, but no matter how you try to defend it, it's indefensible. It's a very real issue when it happens, and while you say it doesn't happen much, I don't suspect that fact gives much comfort to those who have it happen to them.

And can you imagine if we said "well, we got rapes down to not very many, so we're all good! Any women who get raped now need to just shut up since it only happens an infinitesimal amount".

Absolutely ridiculous.

Here is the problem - you have a valid cause. Women have the right to be not groped/abused etc simply because they are women. But then you go and alienate people by claiming that your cause is just, but equivalent on their side doesn't matter. And you do things like mischaracterizing a peeping tom as a sexual assault. None of these do your cause any good. So the question is, what is more important to you - solving the problem, or being bitter about it? Because you're doing more for the latter than the former.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And you think "trains are dangerous for men, too" because there is a tiny, infinitesimal chance that a woman might mistakenly accuse you of touching her?

Due to the number of articles we see lately with men accused of groping literally jumping over the tracks to escape the scene I might wonder this is not rare. Groping is a very serious accusation that can lead to imprisonment, huge fines, criminal record as a sexual predator, if you're a foreigner it might also mean being fired from your job and being deported.

But I stand with Reckless' comment above, with that much bad luck in Japan, why do you even bother to waste your precious life in such a dangerous place for women? I mean, you don't even need to go back to your country, move out of Tokyo instead :) Or buy a motorcycle, anything. Better than live a miserable life in fear of other men while fighting "male privilege" and "sexism".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ilovecoffee

Easy to say man, easy to say.

Men are much larger, heavier, and stronger than women. Your assumption that women should stand up and fight is ridiculous.

Thats like telling a dude, when a 6’3, 230lb guy bullies you, stand up and defend yourself and sock him one.

Its something I think most men would not even have the cojones to do.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

100% agree with the person I am now. One mis-swipe could ruin my life.

I am not a groper but I can count the number of times I was put in a situation there was literally nowhere to be but behind some woman, every centimeter of my body in contact with hers, and in some other cases my hand was right on someone's buttocks/legs while I was holding a heavy briefcase, not a centimeter to move.

If "caught", who on earth would believe me? Trains are dangerous to men too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Molesters target those who appear reluctant to file a police complaint." Just how does one appear reluctant to file a police complaint?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Vic police (oz) recently launched a 'call it out - active bystander' campaign. Love this ad

https://www.respectvictoria.vic.gov.au/campaigns/respect-women-call-it-out-active-bystander

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Spray pepper spray on an amazingly crowded train. What could possibly go wrong?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh sorry. 3 beers and walkin typin lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just stop taking the trains - all you women who might be targets, and all you men who might be falsely accused. Ride one of those motorized e-scooters, like you see all around Santa Monica.

Bingo! To hell with those sardine packed trains! I haven't been riding trains during peak hours for years! My commuting is one of the most pleasant minutes of my day, listening to music and feeling the breeze aboard a comfy big scooter. Literally it changed my days from hell to a cool paradise.

And for those people saying that all you should do is to keep your hands in the air, I wonder if you ever rode trains in Tokyo/Osaka between 7-9am.

There is absolutely NOwhere to put your backpack/briefcase but holding in front of your legs. There is literally no space to put it between your legs. And you don't want to be that a**hole and ride a packed train with your backpack on, either in front or in your back.

Put your stuff on the rack? If you are lucky enough to even reach there...

Summer is coming, there is nothing as "pleasant" as train skinship, hot calf to calf, crazy dudes shoving a whole car of people for no reason. Again, to hell with those purgatory on tracks.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyoToday 08:09 am JST

This will all be Monday-morning quarterbacking from a couch potato. However, there will always be a percentage of "hardcores", and you bumped into one. He clearly is a rare specimen if he's Japanese and he's using English on his initiative.

Doesn't mean that the advice might not work for the vast majority of cases. Nor does it mean it is valueless even in your case. The fact so many people are staring is in fact a deterrent, and if it doesn't quite stop him from his current action, it does provide a certain repressive force against a higher action.

Personally, if you don't want to risk the pepper spray or pre-emptively punching him, I suggest calmly reaching for your phone's camera function and trying to take a picture of his face. At least it should force him into making a choice. Sure, he might react by trying to destroy or grab your phone, but at least you've forced him over the barrier into violence and have a smashed phone to show the police, which is a lot better than saying "He groped me." And at least you already have a pile of potential witnesses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can't beg an abuser to stop abusing you. Ultimately you have to just stand up and defend yourself. Japanese women need to drop the "kawaii innocent girl" act and toughen up. Punch the guy in the nose next time someone touches you. Buy a Pepper Spray and spray his face right on the spot. On the other hand, the legal system needs to change to make it more easy for women to win cases against abusers. More cameras would also help, but changing the way the rule of evidence works would be the most important change.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The point about calling out instead of swiping an app is also valid. I was once the victim of not a groper but a "sleeper" on the train. The guy would nod off and bounce off of my shoulder over and over and over again every few seconds until I could no longer gamman and yelled "Yamenasai!" in a very loud angry tone. Everybody in the car stopped what they were doing and looked.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@thepersoniamnow

I am not saying women should physically fight the guy, i am saying they should stand up for themselves and confront him in anyway they can. If she can't punch him, then spray him, shout at him, make scene, make it known that you are strong and you don't allow anybody to touch you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow. Now we need smartphone apps to get people to behave properly and keep their hands to themselves.

A sign of the apocalypse, perhaps.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jennischiebel

Miss the point much? My point was precisely yours.

Are you arguing that women shud fight the men who harass them, or did you not read what I said at all?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've stopped three chikan to date. It's fun watching them cower when someone stands up to them.

Good job Chip. Glad to hear that people will help others in need. It’s surprising how often people that need help are ignored even in highly public places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can count the number of times I was put in a situation there was literally nowhere to be but behind some woman, every centimeter of my body in contact with hers, and in some other cases my hand was right on someone's buttocks/legs while I was holding a heavy briefcase, not a centimeter to move.

Always have both your hands visible. Put your briefcase either up on the rack, or down between your legs or something. But always keep your hands at shoulder-level or above.

And you think "trains are dangerous for men, too" because there is a tiny, infinitesimal chance that a woman might mistakenly accuse you of touching her?

Imagine the reverse - we cut down rape to it only happening an "infinitesimal" amount. Would you tell those women who get raped that they have no ground because it doesn't happen much?

Sorry, but that's faulty logic.

I still want male-only train cars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just stop taking the trains - all you women who might be targets, and all you men who might be falsely accused. Ride one of those motorized e-scooters, like you see all around Santa Monica.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And you think "trains are dangerous for men, too" because there is a tiny, infinitesimal chance that a woman might mistakenly accuse you of touching her?

Due to the number of articles we see lately with men accused of groping literally jumping over the tracks to escape the scene I might wonder this is not rare. Groping is a very serious accusation that can lead to imprisonment, huge fines, criminal record as a sexual predator, if you're a foreigner it might also mean being fired from your job and being deported.

But I stand with Reckless' comment above, with that much bad luck in Japan, why do you even bother to waste your precious life in such a dangerous place for women? I mean, you don't even need to go back to your country, move out of Tokyo instead :) Or buy a motorcycle, anything. Better than live a miserable life in fear of other men while fighting "male privilege" and "sexism".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RecklessToday 12:28 pm JST

I read your numerous posts with interest. As hard as it is to believe all the bad luck and problems you have in Japan, it is even harder for me to understand why you would stay here if they are true. Don't torture yourself for no reason. If you move back to a civilized country you can drive your nice car in safety to work, and in my country you can even have a gun right there beside you to take care of anyone who offends you. Assuming you want to sacrifice yourself and your sanity in Japan to "make a point", I would suggest to any woman to learn Tae Kwon Do. You will then be very well equipped to handle the vast majority of these perverts with something as simple as a quick and powerful punch to the sternum. Poor shokubutsu-man won't know what hit him.

I don't think you understand the concept of "I live in Japan." That means that I live in Japan. As in, live. Here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good advice Kazuaki. Even as a man I find riding crowded trains extremely unpleasant. It provides cover to the gokiburi perverts as well as violent men who push and harass others. Train rage. You

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What the hell is wrong with some men, anyway? Squeezing females' buttocks on crowded trains...

I guarantee if they get their testicles squeezed or kneed, they'll behave.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For all those mourning about being falsely accused, keep your hands above the neckline and all should be ok. Yes. Even on packed trains. What a bunch of losers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

IloveCoffeeMay 22 10:05 pm JST

I am not saying women should physically fight the guy, i am saying they should stand up for themselves and confront him in anyway they can. If she can't punch him, then spray him, shout at him, make scene, make it known that you are strong and you don't allow anybody to touch you.

One of the scariest things that happened to me in my 20's was on the Yamanote line with my friend. We were coming back from shopping in Shibuya and had almost reached Shinagawa, where we were going to change trains. This youngish guy started speaking to us in English, saying sexual things and crowding our space, trying to touch us. I'm no shrinking violet, and I told him to shut up and leave us alone, both in Japanese and in English. And as I said, I am no shrinking violet - I was loud - and I cursed at him.

He thought that was hilarious, apparently, because he didn't care at all and just laughed. He didn't back down, didn't stop, and even though we looked around at the people nearby, no one around us was even attempting to help us. We decided to walk through the train to the next train car to get away from him. Guess what? He followed us.

He would not leave us alone no matter how loudly I yelled, no matter what I said, no matter that we kept changing cars. And no one helped us. They just stared.

Confronting men who hate women, who aren't afraid of women, and who know they are bigger and stronger than women, does not help because they will not be intimidated by anything you do. They have already shown that they are willing to go outside the bounds of polite society and violate your space and ignore your boundaries, and they don't care who sees them doing it.

And if you make them angry, it's highly likely you will get punched, beaten up, or stabbed. Think about that.

And before you tell a woman how to handle dangerous situations with men, first think about all the experiences that woman has already had with perverts and molesters and angry men and violent men, and just.... don't. Just shut the hell up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

finally richMay 22 07:38 pm JST

100% agree with the person I am now. One mis-swipe could ruin my life.

I am not a groper but I can count the number of times I was put in a situation there was literally nowhere to be but behind some woman, every centimeter of my body in contact with hers, and in some other cases my hand was right on someone's buttocks/legs while I was holding a heavy briefcase, not a centimeter to move.

If "caught", who on earth would believe me? Trains are dangerous to men too.

Think about this. I've been groped on trains more times that I can count or remember. I've also been catcalled, rubbed on, had my skirt pulled up, peeped at, followed, stalked, cursed at, and witnessed a friend getting punched in the face by a guy for no reason other than she was in his way.

And you think "trains are dangerous for men, too" because there is a tiny, infinitesimal chance that a woman might mistakenly accuse you of touching her?

And considering that only 4% of sex crimes are even reported to the police, if you did accidentally touch a woman and she noticed it, she would not be very likely to say anything at all. And if she did say something to you, then so what? These things happen every single day and yet only 900 men a year are arrested. Why do you think that is?

Women are so used to be molested that it's just another day on the train for them. We deal with it by moving away from the guy, giving him a dirty look, or maybe saying "yamete". Women see taking a guy to the police as a last resort - because of possibility of violence, the lack of help from fellow passengers, and the difficulty of the process itself. You will be at the police station for HOURS being questioned and filling out paperwork. Most women will just drop it because again, we have just become resigned that this is what life is like for a woman in Tokyo.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

StrangerlandToday 12:39 pm JST

And yet when it happens, it destroys that man's life. Your argument is 'it doesn't happen that much, so boo hoo'. Sorry, but no matter how you try to defend it, it's indefensible. It's a very real issue when it happens, and while you say it doesn't happen much, I don't suspect that fact gives much comfort to those who have it happen to them.

Listen (read) very carefully, Strangerland. You seem to think that I don't know about, or care anything about, the hardships of men. That could not be further from the truth.

I think you are smart, so I know you are capable of understanding this: the comment section of every single article about train molestation, rape, sexual assault, or even boys peeping at girls, becomes a raging chorus of men trying change the subject away from sexual assault, suddenly becomes a litany of "poor me's" from men. Instead of discussing how men can support women and stop sexual assault, the comments are full of men hating on women - men calling the women liars, men minimizing the crime, men victim-blaming women, and men joking about sexual assault and making misogynistic comments.

Every article about sexual assault on women is suddenly turned away from the topic of "sexual assault on women" and becomes a litany of "poor me's" from men - and that sir, needs to stop. Now. Today. With you. I say "you" because in reading your other comments on here, I can tell you are a good man. And as a good man, you need to step up and lead other men. I know you can do it, because I have seen you call out other men. Now use that powerful voice for something good, instead of using it to take the focus off the actual issue, which is perverts attacking women.

And can you imagine if we said "well, we got rapes down to not very many, so we're all good! Any women who get raped now need to just shut up since it only happens an infinitesimal amount".

Absolutely ridiculous.

It is ridiculous, because you would not say that because it is not true, is it.

Here is the problem - you have a valid cause. Women have the right to be not groped/abused etc simply because they are women. But then you go and alienate people by claiming that your cause is just, but equivalent on their side doesn't matter. And you do things like mischaracterizing a peeping tom as a sexual assault. None of these do your cause any good. So the question is, what is more important to you - solving the problem, or being bitter about it? Because you're doing more for the latter than the former.

And you don't think for even one instant that it is you men who are alienating women by changing the focus of the article away from sexual assault of women and towards men's fee-fees?

Tell you what. I'll know by your reply to this if I care about alienating you or not - because you can't make someone stop caring about a thing they never cared about in the first place. Show me how much you care about women's issues by using this article to start a discussion on the ramifications of sexual assault on women.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If I were a guy, I’d stick to what I have experience of and challenge other men about their poor attitudes towards women instead of trying to tell women what to do.

But hey, that’s just me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sensei258May 22 07:29 pm JST

If you have been groped "so many times", why haven't you done anything about it?

It isn't the women who are doing the groping, so why are you asking what we should do?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Imagine the reverse - we cut down rape to it only happening an "infinitesimal" amount. Would you tell those women who get raped that they have no ground because it doesn't happen much?

Sorry, but that's faulty logic.

I recall a Japan Times article quoting that false reports of groping occur about 10 times a year.

Now you do the math. Only 4% of sex crimes are estimated to be reported. 900 groping incidents are reported each year. How many groping incidents are not reported?

It's not faulty logic when the facts say that false reporting, particularly false reporting that is malicious and results in prosecution, almost never happens. It is a fact that "there is "an infinitesimal chance" for your average guy to be mistakenly or falsely accused of groping.

In comparison, every single woman will experience some kind of sexual harassment or assault in her lifetime, and many women will experience it multiple times. If you live in Tokyo and take the train every day? You will experience it more often than average.

So I'm sorry, but when men comment on these articles and complain that they are scared at being yelled at by a woman who mistakenly thought he touched her, I can't help but consider that to be nothing more than a giant male privilege sundae topped with sexism.

I still want male-only train cars.

I want men to stop groping women. But hey, a million dollars would be nice, too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

100% agree with the person I am now. One mis-swipe could ruin my life.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If you have been groped "so many times", why haven't you done anything about it?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

With the increasing popularity of the anti-groper app, more and more men will be falsely accused of groping on the train. It could be you.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I don't think that lady in the photo needs the app.

I suggest when the app is activated the train car slam on its brakes, lock all doors and emit a sleeping gas until police arrive. More seriously, I think this will be interesting in implementation. Imagine if someone hits it accidentally and you are the only guy nearby?!!!

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

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