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University student saves abused child after chance encounter in the rain

31 Comments
By SoraNews24

The rainy season of 2017 has been particularly hard on Japan with a recent typhoon causing widespread damage to life and property. It’s hard to imagine at times like this that something good could have actually come from it.

Just as Japan’s rainy season was getting under way, on 2 June, Kwansei Gakuin University student Yuto Morita was returning to his home in the city of Takarazuka. As the 19-year-old student walked out the gate of Mondo-Yakujin Station, the surrounding area was getting battered by a storm, so he pulled out his umbrella.

Soon after, he noticed a young girl taking shelter in front of a store near the station. Morita approached the 12-year-old and offered her his umbrella so she could get back home.

Morita then began to walk home through the lightning, wind, and rain without any cover for himself, but the girl began following him. The junior high student, now in tears, told Morita that she couldn’t go home because she was afraid of her father.

Morita’s initial reaction was to tell her to call the police, but she hated the idea. So instead, he contacted one of his younger female classmates to help make the girl feel more comfortable and they all met at his home.

While eating snacks and drinking juice, the girl began to open up. She told them that every day she tries to leave home before her father wakes up, and doesn’t go home until she thinks he’s asleep. “If I’m ever face-to-face with him, he hits me,” she told them.

Morita was quickly realizing that this girl was a victim of violence far beyond what some people may even defend as “discipline.” One incident the 12-year-old recalled during their talk was when her father punched her in the face and she had to wear a surgical mask until it healed.

After two hours of talking, Morita noticed the student’s spirit improving, and she even was able to smile at moments. At this point he was able to convince the girl to let him call the Hyogo Prefectural Police’s helpline and seek help. The girl was quickly put into protective custody of the prefecture and now lives separately from her father.

People online praised Morita for his actions.

“People like him are amazing. I’m falling in love.”

“That’s pretty amazing of them to get a girl they never met to open up like that.”

“It’s like something out of a TV show.”

“Now that’s a man.”

It’s hard to say this is a happy ending. The girl and the 768 other kids in Hyogo Prefecture who are reported victims of abuse between January and May of this year alone still have a tough road ahead of them. But it’s safe to say they have a better chance than living under the unending terror of a violent “parent.” Perhaps that’s what this girl saw in the simple act of a perfect stranger willing to give up his umbrella without so much as a thanks.

As for Morita, he received a letter of appreciation from the Takarazuka Police for his deed in protecting and advising the student to seek help. During the ceremony (see photo above), he confessed that he aspires to become a police officer, also telling those present, “I hope the schoolgirl can live happily from now on. I had no idea abuse was so close.”

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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

-- Adorable puppy hasn’t quite got the hang of drinking milk, but that’s not stopping him

-- You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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much greater than the 17,600 suggested by Dom Palmer.

I didn't accuse you of anything so nothing to retract.

Yes, you did. You clearly accused me of suggesting that 17,600 was the number.

rather than some mathematical figure suggested by you.

Except I DIDN'T suggest a mathematical figure. I explicitly said I didn't and said why stating a figure in the way Yubara did was incorrect.

I stated the figures provided by the NPA

With no context, plus it seems to have been combined reports of child abuse and child pornography. If one child has pictures taken and then 100 people are reported to have those pictures the NRA data would show 100 reports, yet only one child was abused not 100. Plus it seems the NRA data is reports, how many were substantiated?

The figure of the NPA give a more accurate picture than the one you try to make.

And there you go again, accusing me of doing something that I explicitly DIDN'T do. I clearly said you couldn't take the data from one prefecture and use it to come up with a number for the whole country. I tried to make NO picture, I was explaining why the data the article gave couldn't be used to make the picture another comment tried to make.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A challenging path indeed. But one she can negotiate and with her hands. It is not a perfect life. But one I admire, I hope she takes this realization and does her best to sail to freedom fro those pesky hard feelings and fear. Peace

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The young man with a hero's heart

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again. Dom Palmer hasn't created the figure to suggest the number as accurate but created the figure to show why the problem is not as simple as taking the figure reported and multiplying it by the number of prefectures (which is nothing more than a made up figure regardless of how close the number is to the actual reported figure).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dom Palmer

I didn't accuse you of anything so nothing to retract. I stated the figures provided by the NPA rather than some mathematical figure suggested by you. The figure of the NPA give a more accurate picture than the one you try to make.

There are thousands of abused children in care not always in the best circumstances and the situation needs to be improved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

much greater than the 17,600 suggested by Dom Palmer.

I suggested no such thing. Please retract your accusation. I was pointing out that you can't take the number in one prefecture and use that to estimate the whole country.

Child abuse is happening across the globe in increasing numbers.

Is it? Or is it just that more is being reported?

Just as with the 'simple math' being not so simple, looking at reported cases and comparing to previous years is not so simple. Society's changing attitudes has resulted in more awareness and more resources being brought to the issue, which would naturally lead to more reporting. But how much is an increase in actual incidents and how much is just a result of better and more reporting?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

zichi: "read the post?"

Been here long? Have you never heard of how quickly children go from Social Services and foster homes (if the latter even take them to begin with, which is rare enough) back to the source of abuse? How long do you honestly think the separate living will last, for which there are no details to begin with? At best, we can hope it is a relative, but that'll mean the father will easily be able to find them. At worst, like I said, she'll be home within the month after social services here score again and decide to send the child back home, likely to be beaten more.

Again, I congratulate the boy, but it doesn't much sound like the problem is being dealt with so much as it is being avoided. It's necessary to praise the young man -- he did an outstanding thing -- but not pointing out what happens far too often in these situations would be just patting the kid on the back and telling him and everyone else, "Hai hai. Owari. Nothing to see here, move on."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, this is a greatly heart warming story of heroism, but the sad fact is, he was only doing the job of the police, social services and school teachers, who ignore these abused kids. Last week, one of my female senior high school had two huge bite marks she received from her mother. One on her forearm and the other on her lower thigh. I reported it to the head English teacher and was told to ignore it. Japanese culture in nutshell! If it's not reported, it didn't happen!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Many people, especially younger men are afraid of offering help or assistance to women or girls. Mostly they are afraid of being called a predator or are socially awkward.

big props to this young man for doing the right thing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes! YES! Big respect for this young man and I hope he becomes a shining example to others: If you signs of abuse to a man, woman, or child. Speak up! Even if those in charge don't hear you the first time, speak up!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Awesome story. We need more feel good articles like these, please...

Thank you.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

smithinjapan

read the post?

The girl was quickly put into protective custody of the prefecture and now lives separately from her father.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nice to read a story like this. I'm curious what happened to the girl next, though. Unfortunately, I suspect that after giving Yuto the letter of appreciation the police sent the girl home to her father. Let's hope Yuto can indeed become a police officer and help improve the level of the police here.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Well done young fella. Class act.

A true hero!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Haaa Nemui

I gave the real figures issued by the NPA. Not very difficult to find. Child abuse is happening across the globe in increasing numbers. I dislike the comments suggesting its worse in Japan or only happens in Japan which are nearly alway incorrect so perspective is important, the wider picture.

Good for him, but I think he is lucky that the police acted reasonably this time and did not turn around and arrest him for "kidnapping", like some other cases reported here.

Because he was able to persuade the child to contact the authorities on the same day.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@zichi - Dom Palmer wasn't suggesting the figure to be correct but explaining why simple math and percentages can't be used. The numbers are bad but there are people who simply try to make things look worse than they are simply because this is Japan. Your comparison adds a little perspective. Thank you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good for him, but I think he is lucky that the police acted reasonably this time and did not turn around and arrest him for "kidnapping", like some other cases reported here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

According to the National Children's Alliance 700,000 American children are abused every year.

http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/media-room/media-kit/national-statistics-child-abuse

According to the Japanese NPA in 2016, reported cases of child abuse and child pornography reached record highs. Police reported a 46.5 per cent increase in the cases of abuse against children under 18 from the previous year, bringing the total number of cases to 54,227.

The 54,227 cases are higher than the 35,000 kids suggested by Yubaru and much greater than the 17,600 suggested by Dom Palmer.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Dom Palmer - exactly the point I was trying to make but in far greater detail. Thank you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What puzzles me is why hit your own child or any child? If you have to punish a youngster give them a paddle on the "backside"!

is that not hitting your child?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Not to down play the situation, but making it sound worse than it is doesn't do anyone any good.

What is totally scary is that simple math would say, multiplying this number by 46, there are over 35,000 kids in other prefectures that are facing the same or similar situations.

Except the math isn't that simple.

First, I don't believe that a prefecture with a population of less than 1 million has the same number as Hyogo with over 5.5 million and Tokyo with over 13 million probably has more. Taking the precentage in Hyogo times the entire Japanese population gives about 17,600, still horrible but about half of 35,000. And taking the world's population gives just over 1 million.

Second, this isn't a situation that even percentages can be used. There are so many factors that may cause a much higher or lower percentage in different areas. Just a few exampples are average income level, average education level, unemployment, rural vs urban, even cultural differences between parts of the country. And trying to transfer it to the world makes all those issues, and many more, even harder to correlate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What puzzles me is why hit your own child or any child? If you have to punish a youngster give them a paddle on the "backside"!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Hear! Hear!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He's a good human being and deserves all the positive statements people have made about him. Perhaps his parents also deserve some accolades for helping to bring up such a fine young man. I'm sure his greatest pleasure will come from knowing he has really helped someone in need. Well done!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Bravo to Morita and his friend for helping this girl.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

What is totally scary is that simple math would say, multiplying this number by 46, there are over 35,000 kids in other prefectures that are facing the same or similar situations.

Even scarier is that by the same simple math, multiplying this 35,000 by 196 gives us a figure of close to 7 million kids worldwide facing the same or similar situations... but there are reasons simple math doesn't work for either situation.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I have attended several times, the Kwansei Gakuin University students day held every year on Culture Day, Nov 3, and was impressed with the general attitude of the students. The day ends with a great concert. The uni motto is "Mastery for Service" by transforming society with compassion and integrity.

Bad story with a better ending.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The girl and the 768 other kids in Hyogo Prefecture 

What is totally scary is that simple math would say, multiplying this number by 46, there are over 35,000 kids in other prefectures that are facing the same or similar situations.

That is an incredibly large number, nation wide, and to me is more like an epidemic that needs treatment and not just isolated cases here an there.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Abuse is so common in Japan, I have seen it first hand... It really needs more national attention to the problem

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Well done young fella. Class act.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Good for both Morita-san and his friend. They've shown more compassion than the majority of people would.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

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