The number of people who come to me with marital problems is almost, 50/50, regardless of gender.

In the world, laws and systems have been established and support mechanisms have been created based on the assumption that women are victims and men are perpetrators. Therefore, female perpetrators, male victims, and male perpetrators are not eligible for support. These people who have nowhere else to go come to JAFAREC for support that is not available in the world.

I offer support to both men and women, victims and perpetrators alike, and I try to avoid labeling anyone as a perpetrator or a victim.

This is because in each person’s experiences and relationships, one can be a perpetrator or a victim. It depends on the environment and circumstances of the situation, and there is no such thing as 100% perpetrator or 100% victim.

I tell my clients that I would be happy if they would think of their problems as their own, instead of thinking of them as the other person’s problems.

It is natural, in a sense, to be provoked by the words and actions of a person you do not agree with, to become emotional, to lose your cool, and to want to control the other person in some convenient way.

Often, there are many experts who make a business out of helping people by fueling their emotions and intensifying conflicts and disputes. Of course, they may not have malicious intentions, but they may have good intentions or a sense of justice… The result can be unfortunate for everyone in the family.

I am not in it for business, but to help my clients and their entire families to be happy, so I try to support them in a restorative way to avoid conflict as best I can.

I sometimes protect the male victim to the sielter, but I do not tell him to run away or leave. We try to help them get in touch with their wives as soon as possible.

The other day, one such wife contacted me and I listened carefully to her thoughts. The so-called perpetrator knows in their head that violence is wrong, but they can’t control their emotions in the situation and end up committing violence, and this is no different for men and women.

They know that it is wrong and they need to stop, but no matter where they go, they are just told that it is wrong and they need to stop, and there are few people who can tell them how to stop. There is very little support for female perpetrators in terms of de-violence, even less than there is for male perpetrators.

What I repeatedly tell these perpetrators, both men and women, is to stay calm, don’t argue, and call me if you have any concerns.

Big problems happen when one or both parties lose their cool and panic. The problem may be trivial or insignificant, but arguing about it can cause things to move in a terrible direction.

Before that happens, you need to calm down, take a time-out for that, and contact me.

Then, when things have settled down, we can have a long conversation about the nature of the problem, clear up any misunderstandings, and come to a mutual understanding of each other’s feelings and thoughts, so that the conflict can be reduced and things can move in a restorative way.

This kind of support is difficult for lawyers who cannot represent both sides of the case, and it is also difficult for supporters who can understand and deal with both the perpetrator and the victim… I wish there were more supporters who could provide such support, but… well, it’s a long way to go.

JAFAREC Hydrangeas blooming
The hydrangeas blooming in the office are almost at their best time

Originally posted on May 30, 2018
English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.

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