Taking advantage of the lack of space in crowded places to grope is shameful. It needs to stop.
Women have chickened out when it comes to talking about chikan. Why? Despite its prevailing presence in Japan, there is little change in how the country is dealing with it. Some women we talked to braved through their trauma and lived through it again to share stories of dealing with chikan to help other women speak up.
At rush hour, a woman’s only worry should be to catch a train or bus and make it to their destination on time. But being a woman is challenging. There are so many stories of dealing with chikan in Japan amongst woman.
Standing in crowded places for them is not only tiresome but also dangerous. Women in Japan are experiencing chikan on a daily basis, most often in public transport.
Shedding Light on Chikan in Japan
What is Chikan in Japan?
Gropers and molesters, known as ‘chikan’ (痴漢) in Japanese, take advantage of such jam-packed places and woman invade the personal space of a woman who experiences it.
The woman, afraid of attracting attention and causing a scene, stays quiet. That’s the reason there are so many stories of dealing With chikan In Japan
Actions taken to Deal with Chikan in Japan
Considering the media coverage and the advent of the #metoo movement in Japan, chikan has been recognized as a grave offence that needed intervention from the government. The Metropolitan Police Department introduced women-only train cars at peak rush hours so that women can comfortably travel.
This action was taken after the department issued a report revealing that of all the molestation cases reported, 30% of the molestations occurred at peak morning rush hours between 7-9 AM. Another revelation was that 51% of all chikan happened in trains.
Cameras were installed inside trains, signs were put up. Some of the in-car posters said “Chikan is a crime” and “Beware of chikan“. The first one informs the public not to commit this punishable offence.
The second poster, although, warns. Staying vigilant in trains and buses to make sure they’re not the next target, men, women and children alike. But the eradication of the disease that is chikan, is still a work in progress.
Gross Utilization of Technology and Chikan in Japan
In a developed and technologically advanced country such as Japan, the inevitable happened. One of the grossest results of the desperation is that men started using the internet to organize and meet to ‘conduct’ a chikan occurrence.
Then came the introduction of ‘RapeLay’, a video game that allows perverts to get their way on public transportation. One-click on the button ‘prayer’ would result in upskirting the woman.
Although it was banned, one search on the dark web and thirty seconds later the game was found. stories of dealing with chikan in Japan come from the same.
Stories in solidarity
As ghastly as it is, experiencing chikan, we need to see the bright side and think that grief unites us. To know that this experience is shared, is to know that the gravity of the situation has been felt.
It proves itself to be an opportunity to create a meaningful impact by battling the first instinct of shame and replacing it with the braveness to open up. That’s how there are so manystories of dealing with chikan in Japan.
In Japan, multiple women go through this on a regular basis. Local and foreign. These women have come forward to reveal stories of how they dealt with chikan.
Such coming out stories leads to awareness amongst the public. The users of online media and the contributors of online media, all alike, should take it up as their responsibility to inform and educate people of what constitutes as chikan and how to ask for help when it happens.
An illustration by @ikng_0, an Osaka-based freelance illustrator, took the internet by the storm. The illustration depicts various types of sexual assaulters found on Japanese trains.
This was shared over 43,000 times and encouraged more victims to tell their stories of dealing with Chikan.
Destroying the stereotype — ‘Asking for it’
Say what you want, but now there is proof: women are not molested or groped because of dressing provocatively. The whole ‘asking for it’ argument, so popular and quick to blame women, becomes moot when the arrested chikan in Japan admits and reveals what drove them to ‘target’ a particular woman. In a research led by Ayako Uchiyama, she noted these findings:
First point to be noted was that less than 5% said that a target was noticed because of their provocative style of clothing. When talking about rape, the most common response, 45% of it, was that the victim seemed as if they wouldn’t report it to the police.
With other indecent assault cases, 48% of the offenders responded by saying that the victim was picked because of their demure and meek appearance, like they wouldn’t be able to do anything if someone attacked.
What can women do to deal with Chikan in Japan?
These offenders and assaulters take advantage of the knowledge that the victim will not talk to anyone about it. One way to break the pattern is to actually speak up. Make a scene that will stop chikan in Japan.
If you’re being groped in a public space, just raise your voice and catch the attention of fellow passengers. In most cases, someone will come to your aid and shame the assaulted. Stories of dealing with chikan in Japan, unfortunately, is quite common now.
Another resolve is to report the matter to the station master. With the help of some of the passengers on the train with you, the identified chikan in Japan, can be taken to the station master and be put in custody for further action.
Of course, sometimes you really can be too scared to say anything. Just try to remove yourself from the situation. Don’t be afraid of crying and ashamed of being upset. You’re entitled. Your security and personal space have been violated.
Open up, talk to people about it. It is often found that sharing such occurrences can help to deal with the trauma experienced after being assaulted.
All these stories of dealing with chikan in Japan is real and can happen to any woman if measures are not taken strictly.
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Hiya! I’m the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You’ll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!