National / Crime & Legal

Domestic violence cases in Japan reached new high in 2019

Kyodo

Police investigated a record number of domestic violence cases in Japan in 2019, marking the 16th consecutive year of increase, an official report showed Thursday.

The total stood at 9,161, up 73 from the previous year, while the number of consultations to police officers across the country about potential domestic violence also rose to 82,207, up 4,725, according to the report from the National Police Agency.

Among the investigated cases, 8,168, or about 90 percent, were assaults, including those that did not result in injuries. There were also three cases of murder and 110 cases of attempted murder, the report showed.

Among the consultations, about 80 percent of the alleged victims were women, and about 80 percent of the alleged assailants were men. But the number of male victims rose to 17,815, tripling from 5,971 in 2014.

For both suspected victims and assailants, those in their 30s stood out, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total. The number of consultations over stalking stood at 20,912, down 644 from 2018, while that of stalking cases in which the police launched investigations totaled 2,355, down 109, according to the report.

An NPA official said the decreases might be attributable to stricter regulations and a growing sense among people to obey them.

Restraining orders were issued in a record 1,375 stalking cases after a 2017 amendment enabled police to issue them without first issuing a warning. Subsequently, the number of warnings dropped to 2,052, down 399.

The NPA also said younger people were increasingly falling victim to revenge pornography.

It said there were 1,479 consultations over the crime, up 132 from the previous year, while the number of cases they investigated was 261, up 8.

Of the victims — who were mostly women — in the consultations, 637 were in their 20s, up 122, and 376 were under 20, up by 24. The number of victims in their 30s and 40s declined.

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