Japanese authorities shared on Thursday that the country saw an increase in reported cases of stalking and revenge pornography last year. The police said that a possible contributing factor to the said rise in reported cases is the revised law expanding the definition of offenses and the increased willingness as well of victims to come forward.
A record-high 23,079 suspected stalking cases nationwide were reported to the police in 2017, up 342 from the year before. Data released by the National Police Agency (NPA) also say that the number of cases in which the police arrested suspects or referred them to prosecutors over violations of an anti-stalking law also reached a record high of 926, up 157.
More people are also going to the police with revenge pornography complaints, with the figure in 2017 rising by 180, or 16.9 percent, from a year before to 1,243.
Revenge pornography essentially involves a victim having compromising images of a sexual nature retained, distributed or used as a form of leverage by another individual.
An NPA official also said that victims now “feel more comfortable in coming forward as the police have become more ready to respond.”
The country saw an amended antistalking law in January 2017 implemented which outlawed anyone making repeated and unwanted contact through social media as well as prohibiting loitering near a targeted person’s home or workplace. Also, under the new law, police can issue a restraining order without prior warning in cases where it is regarded as an emergency.
The number of warnings police issued to suspected stalkers dropped 297 to 3,265, while the number of restraining orders rose 489 to 662.
Majority of stalking victims were women, and more than 60 percent were in their 20s and 30s. A total of 82.7 percent of suspected stalkers were men.
The most common relationship between the victim and the perpetrator was as a couple, or as boyfriend and girlfriend, including former partners.
Similar to stalking, an overwhelming 91.6 percent of revenge pornography victims were women, while 83.6 of the perpetrators were men. 79.6 percent of the victims were also under 40, with 468 in their 20s, 307 were 19 or younger. 214 people targeted were in their 30s while the youngest affected were two 11-year-old girls.
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