So on June 8th I will be running the Nagasaki Marathon in order to raise money for two rape crisis centers in Japan Warriers, and Tokyo Rape Crisis Center. Any of you who know me know that I am not much of a runner and so it's going to be taking me a lot of effort to get fit enough to finish the race. So I chose a cause that I really care about, helping rape victims!
The fact is rape in Japan is a largely ignored issue, as it is many other places in the world. I found a total of two rape crisis centers to serve a population of 127 million. A survery found that only 11% of rape crimes in Japan are reported and that to every 1 crime reported there are 10-20 that aren't. Many women say that they are embarrassed to report the crime, as more often than not they will be blamed, forced to relive the traumatic events and even if they find the attacker he will not prosecuted or jailed. Women who admit to being raped are told they deserved it that they shouldn't have been wearing so much make up or such a short skirt, or that they liked it really. The police in Japan have in some cases taken the victim back to the place, asked them to re-enact the crime, or questioned them on how many people they've slept with. It's not hard to see why so many women are afraid to speak out.
While I am focusing on female rape, it is just as important to find male victims a place to receive help as well. People tend to forget that men can be victims and that rape isn't only between strangers. It can happen in a relationship, in a marriage, between friends, and within familes and anyone who feels like they have been sexually abused no matter the circumstances should have somewhere to go.
While there is not much I can do in order to change the laws or the polices attitude towards rape we can help provide a place where victims can find someone to talk to, and somewhere to get advice about prosecution if they want to. So let's all work together to raise money to give victims in Japan somewhere to go! And remember no means no, it doesn't mean 'convince me' it doesn't mean 'I want it' it always means no.