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Spousal abuse against husbands more common than it used to be

15 Comments

There’s more to domestic violence than kicks and blows. Experts distinguish three types, says Spa (June 25): physical, psychological and economic. Conventional wisdom sees the husband as perpetrator and the wife as victim. Increasingly, the magazine finds, it’s the opposite.

Police statistics flesh out the tale. In 2014, nationwide, 181 cases of husbands suffering domestic violence came to police attention.  In 2018, 1571 did – an 8-fold increase.

Fresh in the public memory is the 2018 murder of a wife by her husband, aided and abetted by his mother. The Chiba District court delivered its verdict earlier this month, finding both guilty, sentencing the husband to 15 years in prison, and his mother to 7.

The court evidently didn’t consider the domestic violence allegedly suffered by the husband exculpatory. As Spa tells it, the wife was a high-level banker with a cleanliness obsession. Nothing was clean enough for her. She saw dirt everywhere – on plates, doorknobs, furniture. It was all her husband’s fault. He was the one who soiled everything. He bent over backwards to humor her and meet her standards – in vain. Her verbal abuse turned physical, until at last, buckling under the stress, he struck back.

The circumstances are extreme, but the salient issue for Spa – the wife’s violence against her husband – is by no means as shocking as it once would have been. Lawyer Konin Mori, who specializes in domestic conflict, figures about 40 percent of domestic violence nowadays is wife-inflicted – most of it non-physical, but abusive all the same.

Mori cites the example of a high-income couple in which the wife, controlling as is customary the household budget, restricts her husband’s spending money to 1,000 yen a day, while she spends a million yen a month on shopping and amusement. The husband consulted Mori on possible divorce proceedings. Don’t rush into it, Mori warned him. Family court would probably award the wife half his earnings, plus child support, with her winning custody of the children almost as a matter of course. The latter point is not as unreasonable as it may seem, Mori explains. Many wives who abuse their husbands are, as mothers, gentle and capable.

Another husband who thought of divorce as his only way out is a 39-year-old father of a three-year-old girl. The couple has been married four years. From the start, as Spa tells it, the wife lorded it over her husband because the apartment they lived in was owned by her parents. She was at home in it. He never was. She too, it seems, is obsessed with cleanliness. Smoking and drinking were dirty – her husband must not enter the house within an hour of his last drink or cigarette. She turned their daughter against him. “Daddy’s dirty!” she’d cry; “Don’t touch him!”

Well, divorce, then. But it was not to be. Advised what he would be up against in court, he gave up, and is adjusting as best he can. We can only hope it doesn’t end up as the Chiba court case did.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Many wives who abuse their husbands are, as mothers, gentle and capable.

I doubt this. I suspect they only look like gentle and capable mothers to those on the outside. Abusers are abusers. If the husband isn't around, they will find another victim.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yes, "the mother is automatically the best parent" myth has to stop.

The longer I stay in Japan, the more I empathize with Japanese men. Japan is a patriarchy, but that there are situations that women can exploit at the expense of men. Some women use them ruthlessly. Exclusive custody of children is the most obvious and egregious example, but not the only one.

She turned their daughter against him. “Daddy’s dirty!” she’d cry; “Don’t touch him!”

I wonder what percentage of girls in Japan grow up with the mother telling them their father is "kusai" (stinks). I bet it's really high. There will be other insults and brainwashing/gaslighting, of course, but I suspect that is the standard line of attack.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I do not think female spousal abuse is simply "more common than it used to be." More than likely, it seems on the rise because the police are finally taking it seriously.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

There's no doubt in my mind that physical abuse is overwhelmingly committed by men against women. Economic, depends on who holds the purse strings or earns the most money. That's probably still mostly men, though not as much as it used to be. Psychological abuse, however, is another matter. Women are, and always have been, just as capable of committing psychological abuse against men as men are against women. Amazing it's taking this long to recognise that fact.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Big Yen you may very well be wrong. The differences are twofold: first, women probably do less damage when they get physical than men do. Second, as stated above, men are reluctant to admit being physically abused. It's embarassing, emasculating, and so on.

But believe me it is very common for women to "get handsy" when they are upset and out of control.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wondered , why did such couples get married then ???.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

vinarius, why do wives traditionally wear a white Tsunokakushi 'horn cover' head covering for their marriage? Those horns show up later.

And there is that old saying, Women are weak, but mothers are strong, Onna wa yowashi, saredo haha wa tsuyoshi 女は弱しされど母は強し

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And there is that old saying, Women are weak, but mothers are strong, Onna wa yowashi, saredo haha wa tsuyoshi 女は弱しされど母は強し

I didn't know that saying. Thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

restricts her husband’s spending money to 1,000 yen a day, while she spends a million yen a month on shopping and amusement

This kind of thing is different only in degree, not in kind, to what customarily happens every day in Japan. It's well known that many, many salaryman breadwinners get only token allowances from their wives, who control the household's pursestrings. The only difference is the yen amount.

Does that mean that this now qualifies as abuse? Are there other extenuating factors? I have no idea, and the article doesn't go into detail.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Spousal abuse has been there forever. The only thing that is happening now is that perception is starting to change. There are many men that have been apart of abusive relationships that were emotional and/or physical.

I am guilty of not really taking it seriously. When a friend of mine used to have his girlfriend beat up on him, myself and the rest of our friends used to simply tease him about it and tell him to start acting like a man.

Thinking such as that only helps to contribute to a lack of awareness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just while yesterday there was an article written by a feminist calling Japan’s gender problem a human disaster. Yeah, well this is the other side of the coin. Perhaps these toxic men got what they deserved ay? A lifetime of 1000 yen( apparently that’s generous too) a day slavery and abuse, not uncommon at all. They cop it from both ends, in the office and then again at home. Both blaming the other for their woes. Lovely stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This goes on all around the world. People are nasty to each other. Women and men are equally capable of this nastiness, it’s just manifested differently.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another husband who thought of divorce as his only way out is a 39-year-old father of a three-year-old girl. The couple has been married four years. From the start, as Spa tells it, the wife lorded it over her husband because the apartment they lived in was owned by her parents. She was at home in it. He never was. She too, it seems, is obsessed with cleanliness. Smoking and drinking were dirty – her husband must not enter the house within an hour of his last drink or cigarette. She turned their daughter against him. “Daddy’s dirty!” she’d cry; “Don’t touch him!”

Can't really sympathize with this guy. Sounds like he's out working, and drinking everyday after work, leaving the wife to do her "duty". Never home. What's wrong with the wife wanting to keep clean? Cigarettes stink, awfully selfish if he doesn't want to give up smoking for his family...Maybe he made a mistake having kids, sounds like he doesn't really want them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Psychological abuse has long been seen as a wife's right, just as physical abuse was seen as a husband's right. One was taken away with no checks on the other. The result is less than surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Controlling, degrading, devaluing, gaslightnight, sadomasochistic. Behind closed doors. Its called being a malignant narcissist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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