Japan Today

Women's abuse hotline hours extended until Nov 20


The Regional Legal Affairs Bureau announced this week that consultation hotlines for abused women would be manned for longer that usual this week in a bid to raise public awareness of the hotline.

The service is designed to offer support and advice to women who are victims of bullying, domestic violence or sexual harassment at work.

According to an NHK report, the phones are manned in shifts at the Regional Legal Affairs Bureau headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. The bureau says that last year, around 23,200 callers sought advice from the hotline.

The hotline is currently open on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. It is being extended until Nov 20 to include Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

A bureau spokesperson said that the majority of the calls received were in relation to abuse and domestic violence perpetrated by husbands and partners, NHK reported. About 1,900 calls concerned divorce proceedings and financial difficulties.

The bureau also receives calls from women who are victims of psychological abuse, such as those who are being pressured to have children, but are finding it difficult to conceive,NHK said.

The hotline can be reached at 0570-070-810.

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64.4 a day, but hey, let's pull the plug any way.

Are the people answering the calls trained to give advice or help? I hope so.

With all the people sitting around the City Office just to stamp a peice of paper just to pass it to the next person to stamp, one would think that this hotline could stay open to help those in need.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

So, once the public is aware, they will scale back...

If you are abused or need to talk to someone, you had better take a day off, because this hotline only operates during regular weekday work hours. Also interesting to note that it does not look like a "dial-free" number, so if you are paying for the call it will show up on your phone records. Hopefully the abusive husband is not in charge of paying that!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Violence and abuse affect women of all backgrounds and races, however it can cause terrible physical and emotional pain and also hurt the whole community. There are ways that people can work and help in this cause by calling the police if you see or hear of domestic violence, or by volunteering at a emergency violence shelter even becoming an activist, mentor or just supporting a friend who may have been in a abusive relationship and last of all learning more about how to help. I have a sense of pride that I survived a dating violence and realized that this can happen to anyone.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Are there emergency violence shelters in Japan? Certainly haven't heard of any in Okinawa.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Okay, so the hotline is opening... during the day?? Most abuse takes place at night - when someone has had a bit too much to drink. Christ, like giving a fish a bike!! Why are there no shelters? Why no 24 hour hotline? There is one for foreigners to call. Do they not think there are enough abused women in Japan to warrant one? Oh wait, right, abuse doesn't happen here and when it does, everyone looks away.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Sorry for my egregious gullibility, but wouldn't it be better if abused women could turn on the police and report it, and the lazy ignorant cops would investigate the cases instead of letting victims amateurishly fighting by themselves, being a lonely hero. What to do with a hotline, it doesn't save or guard anybody it just gives advises. Is that really enough for the weak? The capable ones don't call the hotline, they can handle the issue by themselves. The weak and the desperate calls for help and only advices are insufficient. They need real help.

I read about many cases when women reported abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking to the police, only to be cynically refused and sent home with a "be careful advise" and were dead in a few days.

Things should be handled professionally, especially when abuse gets big enough to be considered a social issue. These women have no money for cheating, greedy lawyers, abuse is a crime and should be investigated and handled professionally by the police for free, I mean that's why we pay our taxes.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Domestic violence occurs all year round 24/7!!! I guess this service is a step in the right direction but still too little and too late!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So where is the 'Abuse Hotline' for men. I myself and countless other men are victims of domestic violence and psychological/emotional abuse, thanks to a crazy Japanese (ex) wife.

I suppose they assume that men are different and we don't need help? My only option (without burdening my close friends and family) was to speak to a lawyer, which is not exactly counseling is it...

0 ( +3 / -3 )


Are there emergency violence shelters in Japan? Certainly haven't heard of any in Okinawa.

There are, but very few.

In fact..I remember my husband's best friend from childhood (female) who was constantly being abused by her spouse, She asked my husband for her and they were running around in circles trying to get her into a shelter here in Ibaraki, and after calling like 10 different places, they kept passing her calls to another person, going around and around, finally they told her that if she didn't have any VISIBLE bleeding injuries, it would be difficult to take her in. blah blah blah. She gave up and ran away to another prefecture to be with a member of her family. and that was that. Police never intervened neither they help her in any possible way. They just tol her told gaman. More typical BS as usual.

The thing is that Domestic Violence is is NOT recognized in this country as of 2011. Men beating women? Women beating men? My husband was beaten up by his ex-wife (yes, it happens in Japan!!!) and he did call the police a few times and they would laugh at him, belittle him and degrade him as a man. So he got divorced of that piece of scum. He's been mine for the last 10 years. It's major loss for his ex-pigwife, haha!

Everything is just mizuame in here. REAL domestic violence pleas of help get ignore or just passed around while LYING claims of D.V. get people divorced real fast in here. Children abducted away and all that. As I stated before, this is a country where someone would get MANY years in prison for stealing an apple or a pair of socks, but on the other hand, if you rape or beat your wife, you are more likely to get away "scot-free". PERIOD. Stone-age laws and disgusting old people in power are the ones responsible to keep society like this.


Okay, so the hotline is opening... during the day?? Most abuse takes place at night - when someone has had a bit too much to drink. Christ, like giving a fish a bike!! Why are there no shelters? Why no 24 hour hotline? There is one for foreigners to call. Do they not think there are enough abused women in Japan to warrant one? Oh wait, right, abuse doesn't happen here and when it does, everyone looks away.

Always on the right! Well said, my friend. (^_^)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Tokyo, that fact that abuse by husbands isn't really accepted here... no chance that abuse by wives/women will be accepted. I think it is horrific on both accounts. Indeed, men get very little support - here and back home. At least home women get helped. Here? Nope.

I have had two friends in abusive relationships. On just called off her wedding (a week before) due to it - hurray for her for seeing the light. The other? Married and just had a baby. Both husband and wife are from families with history of abuse. I offered to go to a counselor with both or just the wife. Nope. Not happening. I am the only one they talk to. Why? Because I am a foreigner and "won't pass judgement" and "won't blame the wife". Pathetic.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is so sad. I wonder if there's anything that I can do to help both men and women in DV situations. I'd never want anyone to have to suffer through that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bluewitch is right- there are many cases of women admitted to shelters based only on their unclear claims for abuse, so it was quite a shoker to hear about that case in Ibaraki.

Here, when I got pregnant, they kept asking me (at a big hospital) if I'm being abused (hit) by my husband. They had hot line for abused women in several languages, there in the hospital.But after all, it is a hospital, not the city office.

And by the way, there are these ads on TV to call if you even suspect child abuse. I think there should be a system where other people should also be encouraged to report suspected DV. Victims of DV are often too scared and almost always economically dependent and don't ask for help.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This hotline of this article is organized by The Regional Legal Affairs Bureau which is under Ministry of Justice.

I receive some human rights consultation fliers from local government through kairanban(pass a notice around from house to house in the neighborhood) for DV, child abuse...etc. Almost all local governments have Human rights consultation section. I think many victims are advised to call or visit the local government rather than national government. After you call, the social workers come to your house and talk to you in person. They then talk to the community and get some information from the neighbors. Neighbors also can call the local government and report possible DV/child abuse in their neighborhood. Elementary & middle school children receive hotline number for child abuse at school. Teachers tell students "The number is for YOU to call for help if your mom or dad abuses you."

There are hundreds of hotlines for DV by NPO, some are 24/7 available and toll free.

There are about a hundred of shelters for DV victims. "Zenkoku Josei Shelter Net" is one of the biggest NPO


5 ( +6 / -1 )

They chat to the neighbours?! Christ almighty, no wonder no one wants to speak to them. The amount of gossiping that goes one between the women here... Hey Koba kun, my wife said some guy came around because you're beating your wife! Koba goes home and beats his wife. Chatting to people who live in the area is wrong - unless they have called the cops! I personally have called the cops and no one chatted to me. I also didn't want to speak to them. Deal with the family and leave me out of it.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

There are shelters and hotlines. I've rung several to get help for a foreign friend of mine married to a Japanese husband. Her first child, a son, is from a previous relationship. The son isn't Japanese. The scumsack she married beats her and her 5 kids. Youngest is 3. The husband really lays into the son probably as he isn't his biological child. The school, police and Welfare Services have repeatedly offered my friend shelter and money to help her start a new life. She wouldn't budge. She even returned to her home country but came back to the scumbag who beats her and her kids. Meanwhile, Social Services stand by, repeatedly offering shelter to her and all her kids as the scumbag husband continues to beat the children. I've been patient with her, sympathetic, screamed at her, begged her to leave. She's still with him. So despite repeated calls and Social Service involvement, basically the kids are still in danger with a person who, I am very sorry to say, is a totally unfit mother at this stage. Sorry... Went off at an angle there a bit but the whole problem with domestic abuse on both sexes is a very complex one. If it concerns minors, they should be removed immediately. There doesn't seem to be any services with whopper fangs to deal with these situations at times.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mahiru Shiratori

They then talk to the community and get some information from the neighbors.

Which is why women don't call the city office - the Shame of having your dirty laundry aired in public is so strong in this island safety country that knowing others know about it is enough to stop people from calling.


let's pull the plug any way.

Where does it say they're going to close the hotline down? It says they're increasing hours that it is open. Although, I admit having a hotline open only during working hours is limiting the number of people who can call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Samantha Zoe Aso - That is awful, he beats the wife and the children (aahhhh!) I would be wiling to help if you need it. I hate abusive people, but being a mature adult male I could certainly give the husband pause for thought :) Most abusive people are cowards when it comes to facing someone who is not afraid to retaliate...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think Samantha nails it - DV is so difficult to deal with because in many cases it's the person on the receiving end of the violence who repeatedly throws a spanner in the works of people trying to help (social workers, police, friends etc) by going back into the relationship. The police are bound by the law, and can only do so much; I hear of many instances where the police proceed with a case only to have the woman come in and say it was 'all a mistake' and she wants to go back to the man who beat her. I also agree with Samantha that a woman (or man) who refuses to get out of a relationship where children are being abused is no longer fit to be a parent. Even if he or she refuses help, the kids should be protected.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I was at at small get together and a Japanese woman told me her biggest worry was for her daughter and her fear the she may be physically abused by a spouse or boyfriend sometime in her future. She then went on to say that its a small problem in Japan but she thought it was a bigger one in the USA. Boy did I get mad. It may be a big problem in the states but at least many more woman have a way out than in Japan where it is swept under the carpet. And my thinking is that acutally, as a percentage, more women in Japan are probably abused.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds good. There needs to be more commercials on tv and in the theatres about this. Do they have a hotline for school kids too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Senor Mexicano : You took the words out of... my computer ! I also agree with Equality and was wondering the same thing

1 ( +1 / -0 )


let's pull the plug any way.

Where does it say they're going to close the hotline down? It says they're increasing hours that it is open. Although, I admit having a hotline open only during working hours is limiting the number of people who can call.

Your are correct sir, I'm wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Tokyokawasaki. Huge thanks for the offer. The husband isn't the only abuser. The Japanese inlaws actually held my friend down while he beat my friend one time. He broke her collarbone. She was 5 months pregnant with their 4th child at the time. Over the last few years, I've tried to be supportive. I picked a call up on my mobile and heard screaming, kids crying. Raced round to her house. You could hear the screaming outside. Called the police. Had to climb into the garden and got into the house through a patio door. Husband is ranting. Friend and kids huddled in a corner crying. Husband takes off but police turn up. I am sat there holding my friend's 7 year old son in my arms. He's vomiting because his step dad punched him on the head and face. This gorgeous little boy stops vomiting and says to his mum ( my friend) 'Don't worry, Mum. I am okay. It's not that bad.' I still cry when I think of that. I told the son he can come to my house anytime if things get rough. I am still there for my friend not for her actually but to keep an eye on her kids. Her scumbag husband is wary of me. I don't back down when it comes to kids. I am already involved with another child abuse case.....no, no I don't go looking for these situations. I just seem to be 'there' when stuff happens. I feel very strongly about child abuse. I just wish my friend would wise up and feel the same way. Wish I could post a photo of the kids. Cute ain't the word.....and they are lovely little people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Cleo! Thanks for agreeing. Laws should be passed here to terminate or at least temporarily suspend parental rights if it is proved that a child is in danger or suffering from neglect or emotional/ physical abuse. With my friend, everyone is standing around as a possible tragedy unfolds. A mother who obviously cannot or won't put her children's safety first. It's all documented. Photos of bruises, treatment required, Xrays and still those 5 kids are there while the mother dithers. At times, I don't know who I'd like to punch first. The scumbag husband, my friend or Social Services.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Samantha your story breaks my heart. What is wrong with these "men" that beat up on little kids? And what is wrong with these "Mothers" (sorry, I know she is a friend of yours) who dont put their kids first?

Anyone suffering with abuse has my utmost sympathy and support. I wish wish wish I could help these people too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Samantha. I feel for you. I have first hand experience of this, only the roles were reversed.

Currently divorced and living on my own now :) If your friends ever need anywhere to stay (or just to escape for a few days) I would gladly help out as I have plenty of room in my 2LDK.

I wish i could volunteer to help children and adults caught or trapped in an abusive relationship...When i hear or see abusive behavior, all I want to do is help and try to be supportive...

I have never met you but I know you have a pure and beautiful heart. I am sure your friend and her children love you very much.. Well done :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Nicky. Thanks, mate. Me too. Infact, I am hoping to work with abused kids and families in the future, I feel that strongly about it. I am only still supporting my friend so I can keep an eye on her kids. I feel really bad saying this but I don't have a lot of respect left for her. I've tried everything and am at a loss as to what to do next. Thank god for Twix.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Tokyokawasaki.Well....what can I say! You have me welling up here. So much for Maybelline's waterproof. Thanks but I am just standard issue model! Warts and all! You must have a mighty fine heart yourself to come through your own experience intact and with such a positive attitude! Cheers tonyou, me matie.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Samantha - glad you found them! I consider them my chocolate covered 2-finger salute! Your friend is bloody lucky to have someone like you, and I wish she would put her kids first. Help is out there and good people are out there - like TokyoKawasaki! Sounds as if the husband grew up in a violent home himself.

@TokyoKawasaki - I dont know you but you seem like you re a total babe to me!

I salute both of you and support both of you in your efforts to help these people. I have never suffered first hand with abuse myself, but I have seen some close friends who have and it is scary, the psychological as well as the physical number that gets done to these people. One friend was put in hospital when her ex stabbed her in the chest.

My heart breaks especially for the kids. What chance do they have to grow up and be "normal" (whatever that is these days) when they are stuck in such an environment, and there are so many people who would love to provide loving homes for them? Or even safe homes for them for that matter? I look at my own kids right now (one is at dance school, the other two are here watching a DVD with me) and I could seriously imagine killing someone who ever hurt them. I certainly could never imagine sharing a bed or a house with someone who hurt them. When you become a parent they come first. Always. Well, them and Twixes, obviously!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sam, I hear ya! In the case of my married friends with baby, HE has called the police because he tried to lock himself in a room so he wouldn't hit her - she continued to pound on the door, screaming, crying... However, in their case, cops showed up and did nothing. She won't leave him. he won't leave her - they both throw the punches and well, now there is a three month old... Both are from abusive families, they both know they need help but yet... nope. Nothing. I get calls about once every two months but I don't live near them anymore. She used to come and stay with me. Like you, I screamed at her, I tired to be kind, I offered to help her... She won't listen. Neither are fit to be parents with such a messed up relationship. I don't think they will physically abuse the kid - neither of them were hit as kids - but man, that kid is going to grow up thinking it is normal and the cycle continues... I begged her to leave for the sake of - Do you want your sister to grow up as an abuser like your husband and dad? No? Well he will if you stay!. Fits of tears but nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Samantha, I really hope your friend can get out of the situation before it's too late. My heart goes out to her and her kids.

I understand what she is feeling. I was a victim of abuse myself. I was at a point where I felt so worthless that I began to believe my abuser's words. You feel so low , that you feel you deserve to get hit.

I hope she can recover her personal power and be able to have the courage to leave for the sake of her kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I had American friends in Tokyo 20 years ago- well she was my friend- and she regularly showed up with black eyes. He was a lawyer, spoke fluent Japanese & always told her if she tried to leave him, she'd never see the kids again (he beat them too).

Eventually she fled with the kids- not sure how, he never let her have any money, maybe her parents helped- but she let the kids maintain a relationship with him. Of course later when one of the then-teenage boys went back to visit dad & his new Japanese wife, dad kicks the sh*t out if him & then tells the police the kid was on drugs. So the police say "naruhodo" & dad's off the hook. Then he wasn't going to let the kid leave... soap opera from hell...

Samantha, I wish she had a friend like you & wish we'd got more involved- though as I recall, she kept us at arm's length for HER own safety. It's really hard for women in these situations to ask for help, I hope the hotline is staffed by trained people with some legal knowledge. If you pluck up the courage to call, you want a bit more than "taihen desu ne".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Tmarie,SpanishEyez37 and Janetto. Thank you for all your comments. I can understand my friend's mindset. I was in a relationship with an extremely violent man many, many years ago. I avoid the scumbag my friend calls husband as I don't want to unnecessarily 'rock' the boat as it will probably cause trouble for them but have no conjunction in taking action if I see him being abusive. I call and report when I see bruises on the kids. He knows I am there and knows I am not intimidated by him.

I want Social Services to step in and remove the kids before the next incident and one gets beaten to death.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry Samantha Zoe Aso, your so called friend, gets beaten night and day by her Japanese husband?? This dude also beats the hell out of all of the kids too?? What the hell is your friend thinking?? Sounds like your friend is unfit to be a mother and also the so called father another nut case, time to get child protective services in on this and at least take away the kids from this no good excuse for parents. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE and this nut Japanese husband kills the entire family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks Señorita? Señora?Jacqueline Miyagaga! It just seems so stupid to have these so called hot line to help abuses women, but not around the clock and not around the entire year, and I have no idea why some of these women even stay with these idiot abusive men, can some woman here try to explain??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ElBuda, they are afraid of being on the street with their kids living in poor conditions. I know a woman like that, husband is a pilot. He is hitting her badly, she had a few rips broken not so long ago. Now she has another illness but is afraid of telling him. I told her many times to just leave but she said she doesn't want to go through the shame and she wants to give her kids a good life (?) which means food on the table and a nice place to live. She begged me once to teach her English secretly because he called her baka all the time when they were in Hawaii and she felt very ignorant. Not sure either what these hot lines can do except for listening to someone's pain which may be a lot at times when you have nobody. I always thought hospitals would report DV but it seesms they don't. I don't know how this works, does anybody? The only thing they did when she was pregnant and had bruises all over her, was to leave her in hospital for 2 months. I wonder what they told her husband really.Poor thing, I wished I could be of more help but he got transferred to Osaka unfortunately where she knows absolutely nobody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie - she doesn't want to go through the shame and she wants to give her kids a good life (?)

"Shame" is the key word here... Just as it is with "mental illness", the stigma is too great to take action in Japan... It certainly didn't prevent me from "escaping" and in those days (it's pretty long ago) the police would do NOTHING about DV and shelters just didn't exist yet in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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