89% of train groping victims don’t notify police: survey

Kyodo News

About nine out of 10 women who fall victim to groping aboard trains do not alert authorities, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Police Agency.

The agency polled 3,256 men and women in three metropolitan areas centering on Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and found about 80 percent were supportive of installing security cameras on trains as a deterrent to groping.

The NPA plans to strengthen patrols, create a mechanism to make it easier for victims to report gropings, and also work with railways to install more security cameras.

The survey was conducted online in August and polled people who use trains for commuting to work or school in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures, as well as in Aichi, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures. Responses were given by 2,221 women and 1,035 men.

Through investigators, the agency also surveyed 219 people held by the police on suspicion of groping.

It found that 112 of them were company employees, of whom 74 allegedly engaged in groping while commuting.

The agency is considering measures to raise awareness of the groping problem, including asking employers to initiate preventive steps and sending lecturers to companies.

The first survey showed that 304 women, or 13.7 percent, had been victims of groping during the past year and 271 of them, or 89.1 percent, did not alert the police or consult with them.

As reasons for not contacting the police, 83 women, or 30.6 percent, said it would be “troublesome” to involve them, while 72, or 26.6 percent, said they thought questioning and other investigative processes would be “time-consuming.”

Those who did not say anything after being groped or who just fled the scene totaled 246, or 80.9 percent. Many said they were “too frightened to do anything,” or thought they could “get through it by enduring it.”

The survey also showed that 617 men, or 59.6 percent, feared being mistaken as a groper.