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A government panel on equal rights has received 308 opinions and found that most favor reinforcing support for battered women, panel sources said Sunday.

The opinions were sent in response to an interim report compiled in April by the panel’s subcommittee on violence inflicted upon women.

Of the total, 99 people called for establishing and reinforcing a counseling system for women beaten by husbands and boyfriends.

The same number also called for legislation to prevent such violence and to punish those who inflict it.

Some of the respondents urged the central and local governments to provide financial and other assistance to private shelters who take in victims of domestic violence, while others called for reinforcing public versions of those facilities.

Many people stressed the need for economic and social support, but also emphasized the need for professional counselors who can help victims break away from their violent partners and lead independent lives.

Aside from domestic violence, many respondents touched on the issue of rape and other sexual crimes, calling for stricter punishment of assailants in such crimes, the sources said.

Some people pointed to the need to study the prevention of secondary damage when victims decide to speak out, such as retaliation by an assailant or humiliation by the media or police during the process of questioning.

A government panel on equal rights has received 308 opinions and found that most favor reinforcing support for battered women, panel sources said Sunday.

The opinions were sent in response to an interim report compiled in April by the panel’s subcommittee on violence inflicted upon women.

Of the total, 99 people called for establishing and reinforcing a counseling system for women beaten by husbands and boyfriends.

The same number also called for legislation to prevent such violence and to punish those who inflict it. Some of the respondents urged the central and local governments to provide financial and other assistance to private shelters who take in victims of domestic violence, while others called for reinforcing public versions of those facilities.

Many people stressed the need for economic and social support, but also emphasized the need for professional counselors who can help victims break away from their violent partners and lead independent lives.

Aside from domestic violence, many respondents touched on the issue of rape and other sexual crimes, calling for stricter punishment of assailants in such crimes, the sources said.

Some people pointed to the need to study the prevention of secondary damage when victims decide to speak out. , such as retaliation by an assailant, or humiliation by the media or police during the process of questioning. The panel will include the opinions in its report due this summer for recommendation to the prime minister.

Civil servant arrested in stalking case

TOTTORI (Kyodo) A 29-year-old public servant was arrested here Sunday for allegedly damaging a car belonging to a woman he was stalking, police said.

Akifumi Nosaka, an official of the Yasugi Municipal Government in Shimane Prefecture, followed the woman in her 20s on May 13 as she drove from Yasugi to a shopping center in Tottori Prefecture. He damaged the car after she parked in the shopping center’s parking lot.

Police were investigating the incident as a case of stalking because they received a complaint from the woman in March.