Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse by Male Intimates: Experiences of Women in Japan

By Yoshihama, Mieko; Sorenson, Susan B. | Violence and Victims, January 1, 1994 | Go to article overview

Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse by Male Intimates: Experiences of Women in Japan


Yoshihama, Mieko, Sorenson, Susan B., Violence and Victims


This article examines the nature of violence (physical, emotional, and sexual) perpetrated by Japanese men against their female intimates. Data were collected in a nationwide mail questionnaire survey with a convenience sample of 796 women between July and December, 1992. Most respondents were currently married and working full-time; average age was 43.5 years. Over three fourths reported at least one type of violence perpetrated by their male intimate partner. These Japanese women reported a wide range of abuse-from a slap to an assault with a deadly weapon, from verbal ridicules to restriction of social activities, and from incompliance with contraception to forced, violent sex. About two thirds of the most serious physically violent incidents resulted in injury. Sociocultural factors unique to Japanese women's experiences of male violence are identified and discussed along with their implications for prevention and intervention.

Unlike increased public awareness and social and legal responses in the United States, the problem of men's violence against women in the domestic sphere remains virtually unaddressed in Japan. No specific law in Japan defines spousal violence as a crime, nor are civil remedies such as restraining orders available for women battered by their intimate partner. As in the United States prior to the advent of proarrest and mandatory arrest policies, police are reluctant to charge a man who has had an intimate relationship with the woman he assaulted. Likewise, the public prosecutor's office is not likely to indict a man accused of assaulting his intimate partner unless she sustained grave injuries (Colterjohn, 1992). Severe violence is not a minor problem: 18.2% (n = 85) of all female victims of murder or attempted murder in Japan in 1991 were attacked by their husband (Keisatsucho, 1992b).

Paralleling the lack of legal responses, virtually no government funding is allocated to services specifically for battered women. Public women's shelters originally were established under the Act for the Prevention of Prostitution [Baishun Boshi Ho, c. 118, art. 34, 36] to assist women believed to be at risk of engaging in prostitution and, hence, in need of "protection." According to a recent report by one such shelter in Tokyo, about one third of the women who use their services do so to escape an abusive partner (E. Harada, personal communication, January 11,1992; Tokyo Josei Sodan Senta, 1991). Women who have been abused by their husbands and boyfriends also turn to homes for mothers and children that were established under the Child Welfare Law [Jido Fukushi Ho, c. 164, art. 38] (Zenkoku Boshiryo Kyogikai, 1992), Thus, in the absence of specialized services such as battered women's shelters, women seek refuge from their abusive male intimate through social services intended for other purposes.

Divorce is related to a husband's violence in Japan. Those who assist women seeking divorces report numerous cases in which wives have been abused by their husbands (Colterjohn, 1992; Josei no Tameno Rikon Hotline, 1993). The husband's violence has been one of the most common reasons for filing a divorce petition during the past two decades (Matsumura, 1987; Tanabe, 1981). In 1991, over 11,000 wives filed petitions for divorce mediation due to their husband's physical violence; 473 husbands filed mediation petitions due to the wife's physical violence. Husbands' physical violence ranks as the second and their emotional violence the fifth most frequently cited reason for wives to file for family court mediation (Saiko Saibansho Jimusokyoku, 1992).1 These figures suggest that a considerable number of women turn to family court to end abuse in their marriages.

Severe cases of husbands/boyfriends' violence are occasionally reported in the Japanese print and electronic media. The media often attribute the violence to interpersonal factors (e.g., in the heat of passion, a reaction to a divorce/separation initiated by the victim), personal characteristics (e. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse by Male Intimates: Experiences of Women in Japan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.