There was another domestic violence murder in Osaka the other day. When such incidents occur, people who want to publicize that domestic violence is a major social problem, along with the fact that the number of recognized cases of domestic violence is increasing, launch a campaign to say that “one wife is killed every three days in Japan.” What is the purpose of this? Is this statement correct?

It is true that the number of recognized cases of domestic violence has been increasing since the Domestic Violence Protection Act (Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims) became effective. However, it is necessary to look at it calmly to see if it represents the actual situation of domestic violence. However, it is necessary to look at it calmly to see if it represents the actual situation of domestic violence. The number of recognized cases is a statistical figure, and it is the number of cases that have been reported to the police and dealt with. Therefore, as the campaign spreads and more and more people call the police whenever something happens, the number of recognized cases will increase.

So, are there actually more cases of injury and murder between married couples? If you look at the trends over the past decade or so, you can clearly see that there has been a decrease.The number of cases has decreased from approximately 200 to 150 (2003-2013). Furthermore, if you look at the gender of the victims of marital homicide, you will find that the victims are roughly 65% wives and 35% husbands… It is true that one wife is killed every three days, but at the same time, one husband is killed every five days. If you compare this to the fact that about 50 men (and women are about half of that number) commit suicide every day, you will understand the gravity of its importance to society.

Above all, statistics on all cases of assault and murder show that more than half of the perpetrators are relatives. Regardless of gender, the reality is that families are the biggest danger. Why do families, who should love and care for each other, commit crimes?

There are causes for the anger that leads to violence and the deterioration of the relationship that leads to anger, and if we don’t understand them, we can’t think of preventive measures or appropriate support.

But can we solve the problem by providing support based on a perception that domestic violence men are dangerous, that we don’t know what they will do, and that we should run away, leave, or stay out of the relationship? Can we prevent the problem? I think it’s impossible.

In fact, if a person is wrongly labeled as a “dangerous domestic violence man,” it is natural for anyone to become angry at the unreasonable action, and it is also natural for that anger to be directed at the partner or the person who helped the partner.

The violent assumption that “man = perpetrator = bad guy” makes the problem worse and puts the victim in danger. It can be said that the result is domestic violence murder.

Rather than assigning right and wrong based on gender, a neutral person should investigate the facts calmly and make a decision based on evidence. In addition, by providing restorative support to both parties for the original cause of the complication, it is possible to resolve the emotional entanglements and rebuild an appropriate relationship (which may include divorce).

However, without the theory, skills, and practice of dealing with perpetrators, existing supporters only have the know-how to support victims by separating them, and in order to maintain the organization with this support, new victims are needed.

The structure is such that if domestic violence were to disappear with proper perpetrator support, the victim support people would be in trouble. So, to prevent the spread of perpetrator support, we have to keep repeating the discourse that domestic violence men are dangerous and that programs are meaningless. For this purpose, the incident is used and a campaign is launched. At least, dear readers, don’t get carried away by this distorted campaign.

JAFAREC Men's non-violent workshop circle chat 2017
Men’s non-violent group workshop on a day filled with laughter. Some of them are women.

Originally posted on September 14, 2017

English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.

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