Regarding the editorial “Targeting scourge of child abuse” in the Aug. 14 issue, my four sisters and I were born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, by well-educated Japanese parents. My mother and us children were subject to physical and psychological abuse by my controlling father.

Because discussing the abuse was taboo and it occurred behind closed doors, it was not acknowledged until we children became adults in our 50s.

Moreover, psychological abuse can be even more damaging than physical abuse because it cannot be seen, sometimes even by the victims themselves.

I have spent several months trying to understand why this occurred and have come to realize that many Japanese — wrongly — consider psychological abuse as an acceptable part of the culture, as my mother believes.

It might be too late for our family, but I strongly believe bringing more awareness to the growing problem of psychological abuse can even help prevent physical abuse.

The most helpful resources I found were books written by a best-selling author, Patricia Evans.

The book that helped me understand our family situation is titled “Controlling People: How to recognize, Understand, and deal with People Who Try to Control You”.

Naomi Ann Mizushima

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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