I have just finished my exchange year at one of Japan's national universities. It has been a wonderful year filled with a wealth of new experiences, amazing encounters with Japanese people, a lot of studying hard for kanji tests and eating plenty of delicious food. It is with sadness that I leave soon for my home country to finish my studies.

However, something I was certainly not planning for did happen during my exchange. This is something that the international coordinator at my home university did not prepare me for when she was handing out brochures about Japan. Nor was it something my exchange university advised me about when they had their orientation week about life in Japan. That was all about earthquake safety drills, scholarship arrangements and health insurance. Table manners, course descriptions and student discounts.

Never did I expect that I would get raped in Japan. The story I am about to tell unfortunately belies the image of the "world's safest country" that often gets trotted out when people enthuse about Japan.