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Over 90% of Japan’s child abuse and sexual crime victims didn’t receive compensation: survey

Kyodo

More than 90 percent of child abuse and sexual crime victims and their families didn’t receive compensation from their assailants, nor public financial assistance, largely due to the lack of awareness on the consultation services available, police data showed Thursday.

The National Police Agency analyzed the answers of 917 respondents who said they were crime victims — as well as family members of victims — in an online survey conducted between Jan. 19 and 28 that focused on men and women aged 20 or older.

The survey, conducted with the aim of following up with past victims and incorporating their experiences into national policies, covered six types of crimes; violent crimes including murder and assault, sexual crimes, traffic incidents, domestic violence, stalking, and child abuse.

According to the data, the proportion of victims who didn’t receive compensation or financial aid stood at 94.2 percent in child abuse cases, followed by sexual crimes at 92.9 percent, domestic violence at 91.1 percent and stalking at 90.2 percent.

The state provides lump sum benefits for bereaved families of victims, or those who were seriously injured or disabled in criminal cases.

An NPA official believes a lot of victims are compelled to suffer in silence and tend to go unnoticed, as many respondents also said they did not report their cases to the police.

As for traffic accidents, only 35.4 percent of the respondents said they didn’t receive compensation, reflecting the use of private insurance. The figure stood at 78.7 percent for murder and assault cases.

The survey also revealed that only a small proportion of all victims used support programs such as police counseling and phone consultation services provided by private support organizations.

In cases of child abuse, 87.1 percent said they did not use such services. The figure stood at more than 60 percent in the other five crime categories.

Asked about necessary support shortly after their victimization, more than 30 percent said they needed someone to talk to and consult with but 80.7 percent said they did not know about consultation services offered by municipal governments or other organizations.

Only 7 percent said they were aware of support services before they were victimized.

In the multiple answer survey section, 38.6 percent of the respondents said they did not consult with anyone, while 22.8 percent said they did not know whom to consult with, while 19.7 percent said they were reluctant to disclose their situation.

Although the availability of counseling is spreading, awareness of such services remains low, the official said, adding that the NPA hopes to raise awareness of programs going forward.