Japan sees record number of domestic violence cases in 2018

Japan continues to see a rise in domestic violence, with a record 9,088 cases reported in 2018, police said Thursday, marking the 15th consecutive annual increase since they began collecting data in 2003.
The National Police Agency said increased social awareness of the issue is believed to have resulted in a rise in the number of people seeking police consultations, leading to arrests and other actions.
The number of reported domestic violence cases grew by 666 from 2017, while there were 77,482 cases of people contacting local police about domestic violence problems, an increase of 5,027, according to the agency.
In 2018, there were two cases of domestic violence leading to murder.
In February last year, a woman was killed in a house fire in the city of Himeji. Police arrested a man who was living with her on suspicion of pouring flammable liquid on the woman and setting her alight.
In August, a woman in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, was stabbed to death by her former husband. They worked in the same meat processing plant and the woman had complained to the police about defamatory postings by the man on an internet bulletin board.
There were 109 domestic violence cases involving attempted murder, according to the agency data.
While about 80 percent of domestic violence victims were women, the number of male victims nearly tripled to 15,964 between 2014 and 2018, the agency said.
By age, victims in their 30s accounted for the highest proportion at 28.2 percent, followed by those in their 40s at 24.1 percent and victims in their 20s at 23.4 percent. Spouses or former spouses were perpetrators in 76.1 percent of the cases.
Stalking cases declined 161 from the previous year to 2,464 in 2018. The police said tightening of the anti-stalking law is likely to have served as a deterrent, though one stalking case resulted in a murder.
In November, a Filipino woman was stabbed to death by her former boyfriend in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. The suspect had been warned by police to stay away from her.
Nearly 90 percent of stalking victims, or 18,949, were women. Present or former boyfriends or girlfriends accounted for the highest proportion of stalkers at 43.3 percent, while 7.5 percent were strangers.
Police dealt with 1,347 cases involving revenge pornography in 2018, up 104, according to the agency. Police recognized 253 of them as violations of the law.
Women were victims in 93.3 percent of the revenge pornography cases.

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