Recently, I read an interesting, though disturbing article by the Japan Times that shows that domestic violence in Japan affects 1 out of 3 women but that this number may be under-reported. Also, as the article shows, 41 percent of those women suffer alone without telling anyone.
An unrelated article I found shows that most women in Japan have trouble finding help if they need it. Since women in Japan are usually expected to quit working after they get married, it’s hard for them to be financially independent, so if they had to leave their husbands, they would have no way of taking care of themselves.
But really, this is a problem all over the world. Every country and culture has husbands abusing their wives, and the wives are trapped without any support.
Also, as the article says:
One of the mistaken beliefs of some victims is that they can shield their children from the effects of abuse. Children growing up in families with abuse often continue to suffer emotional and behavioral disturbances throughout their lives.
This is true. I remember as a kid that my best friend had a very abusive father. I was lucky because my parents never hit me or anything, but my friend’s father was very mean to his wife and kids. He would hit them really hard, when I wasn’t looking. But sometimes, I could hear it happening to my friend’s little sister in the other room. So, my best friend often wanted me to stay over at his house, so his father would leave him alone (I was young and didn’t realize this until much later).
Also, I remember my mother telling me that my friend’s mother had bruises on her face sometimes, but she lied and tried to hide them, rather than admitting she was abused. My friend became pretty depressed as a teenager and I eventually lost touch with him. The last letter he wrote me when we were about 16 was pretty dark and sad to read, but by then it was too late to help. They had abruptly moved to another state and that was the last I heard of them.
She [my mother] did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.
But as all these article say, the only way to stop domestic abuse is to confront it. No matter where you live in the world, it’s very likely someone around you is being abused, or is abusing someone. But if people allow it to happen, it will just continue. It affects all of society.
If you know a woman or child who is being abused. Help them. Give them shelter, or help them find a shelter. If you know man who abuses his family, confront him. People abuse other people because they have some kind of deeper psychological problem, and this is a symptom, but often they don’t know they have that problem. Or they don’t know how to stop it. They need someone to wake them up and get help. Otherwise, the cycle continues to the next generation.