The founding of Tokyo Rape Crisis Center
Tokyo rape crisis center was established in September 1983, and over the past 24 years, has provided telephone counseling to women victims of sexual violence.
In 1982, a group of women promoted screening of a movie directed by a Canadian woman, Anne Poilier. The movie, based on a true story depicted rape from women’s viewpoint and became a focus of the attention. In this movie, the heroine killed herself because she could not recover from her psychological wound. This movie inspired the women, who took part in its promotion, to establish Tokyo’s first ever rape crisis center to help rape victims.
Then had one year’s of preparation to collect information on rape crisis centers abroad, and held numerous discussions on rape before they opened the center in September 1983.
Two basic principles of our Center
The center’s activities are based on two basic principles. First, rape is a violent crime by a man who has a desire to dominate, conquer and possess a woman through forced sexual activities. Although men tend to regard rape as a variant of sexual intercourses, we consider that every rape is a political violence against women. Second, any sex against woman’s will is rape by our definition. Not only an assault by a stranger at night on a street, but also any sex forced by even a husband, boyfriend or acquaintance is rape, if it is against woman’s will.
The center’s principal activity is telephone counseling. Our belief is that no victim deserves violence. When victim calls, instead of telling the victims what they should do, we assure her that it is not at all her fault. Then we give her medical and legal information that is necessary, and victim herself tries to find out what to do with assistance from our counselor. If a victim wishes, the center provides names of female doctors and lawyers associated with it. We sometimes rally for support of the victim during trails, in addition, we publish a quarterly to let the public know our activities.
There are about 15 members on our staff, and telephone counseling service is available twice a week. All staff members are women who volunteered. To become a staff member one must receive a 6 months training which raises consciousness about rape and cultivates consideration toward rape victims. During the training period, a would-be counselor learns through discussions on rape and rape victims that rape is a violent crime against a woman committed by a man, that victims are not at fault, and that rape is a crime concerning every woman. Later, the training gives knowledge of medicine, law, counseling and victim’s psychology that are required in actual telephone counseling, and the volunteer acquires know-how through role-playing.
25 year period since 1983. Of approximate 12,500 total callers, over 70 % sought assistance in rape cases, 25 % asked for advice on pregnancy or on sex. The center never reveals the content of counseling under any circumstances to protect victims’ privacy. However, it must be noted that assailants in 63% cases are victims’ acquaintances, while rapists are total strangers in merely cases. Moreover, rape takes place indoors more often than on a street. Thus, stereotypical image of rape by a stranger in the middle of the night is far from reality. Victim’s age varies from teenage to around 70. Some report immediately after being attacked, while others wait for twenty or thirty years before reporting.
WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN FUND
The Tokyo Rape Crisis Center has established a foundation named WOMEN SUPPORT WOMEN FUND. A rape victim, who is our client, had contributed one million yen to the center, so this foundation had been established. If a rape victim wants to report police or prosecute rapists, we can lend at most two hundred thousand-yen from this foundation. So we can support her contribution to this foundation.
Japanese government does not give subsidy in this area, therefore, our activity totally depends on contributions from our supporters. Those who back our activity contribute by becoming members and paying membership fee of at least 3,000 yen per year. The center also receive contribution from churches and private organization that give grants to support women’s activity. We will greatly appreciate your assistance.
Tokyo Rape Crisis Center
Address: Jyoto P.O. Box 7, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Counseling service is available on
Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturdays 3 to 6 p.m.
(Currently available Japanese only)
YES! I WOULD LIKE TO HELP
Please send your donation by:
T/T : Japan Post Office Account No. 00190-4-93429