Woman arrested over death of mentally disabled son


Police in Kyoto said Saturday they have arrested a 52-year-old woman on suspicion of killing her 17-year-old mentally disabled son at their apartment in Sakyo Ward.

According to police, Ayano Sakayama has admitted to using a belt to strangle her son Ryu, who had been attending a school for special needs students, while he was asleep on Thursday night, Sankei Shimbun reported. The two lived alone.

On Friday morning, a relative came to visit them at around 10:15 a.m. and found the body of the boy. At 10:50 a.m., Sakayama was seen on the edge of the roof of a nearby apartment building. However, police were able to talk her out of jumping. Police said there was a knife wound in Sakayama’s neck.

Sakayama was quoted by police as saying she was worn out from looking after her son.

Local media reported Saturday that in February 2019, Sakayama had consulted with police about her son’s violent behavior toward her at times.

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I am 27 and I was a special needs student, I have autism, and I can't think of anything that made her feel tired of her own son to the point of killing him. I must also say that it is not specified in the article what level of disability this boy had, but anyway, nothing justifies it. It's a sad.... but repeated story.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Too much pressure and not enough support took their toll...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

"What a weak failure of a mother", wow, you have no idea what her or her son's life might have been like. I'm not saying it was a good decision, but I know stress breaks people all the time and before the, 'seek help', replies, I've also seen that way to often help can't be found. She will have to live with what she did, one life ended and one was ruined, empathy is free, there's no charge for having it.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

While I'm not saying what she did is justified in any way, there are a couple of points to this I think some are overlooking:

Her son was violent. Whatever disability he had caused him to act out in violence. There's nothing mentioned about the father at all in this. Could you imagine if she was having to take care of him by herself for all these years?

She sought help from the police and others about her son's behavior. Nothing was done. As usual in Japan the topic of mental illness is met with either apathy or dismissiveness. She was left on her own.

The system failed both her and her son.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I just read the title and knew this was the reason why she did it. (it happens far too often with the same reason)

Perhaps she was a single mother taking care of him. She should've been given more help.

She went to the police about the abuse she had to endure, but to no avail. Abuse of any sort is not taken as seriously as it should be here in Japan.

The system HAS INDEED failed them both.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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