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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 3 - 9  > Civil groups working to help and support sexual assault victims hold rally to discuss necessary legal framework
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2016 February 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Civil groups working to help and support sexual assault victims hold rally to discuss necessary legal framework

February 4, 2016
Calling for the creation of a legal framework to help and support people who experienced sexual assault, 29 civil groups working on this issue from across Japan on February 3 held a rally in the Diet building.

From Osaka, obstetrician and gynecologist Kato Haruko, who also heads the Sexual Assault Crisis Healing Intervention Center in Osaka (SACHICO), delivered a report about the actual situation and future challenges in movements to support victims of sexual assault. SACHICO was established with the aim of providing total support, including medical and psychological care, in one location to sexual violence victims as soon as possible.

Kato reported that in the five years since the center launched its activities, it offered more than 23,000 telephone counselling services and that nearly 1,000 sexual violence survivors came to the center for support. Explaining that operations of the center mainly rely on donations and volunteer staff, Kato said, “I became acutely aware of the necessity of providing a legal framework to improve the current support system.”

Lawyer Yukita Juri, who is working with SACHICO, pointed out, “Given the fact that 70% of sexual assault victims said that they had ‘no one else to talk to’, many victims never disclose their experiences.” The lawyer cited the UN recommendation calling for the existence of one support center for every 200,000 women, and said, “The need is to build a system under which victims can receive necessary assistance regardless of time and place.”

In the rally, Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Representatives Ikeuchi Saori, Saito Kazuko, Hatano Kimie, Motomura Nobuko and JCP member of the House of Councilors Tatsumi Kotato participated. In addition, lawmakers of the Democratic, Social Democratic, and Liberal Democratic also attended the rally.
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