Sunday, February 19, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Yoshiko Miwa, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
As similar as the western countries, Japan has authorities, institutions and shelters to support DV victims under the Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims (2001), but they are based on the concept “women necessitating protection” from the Anti-Prostitution Law (1956) to protect sexual morality and society from women who could possibly engage in prostitution. It is tightly related to higher poverty rate (about 51 %) in spite of higher employment rate (above 80%) of single parent households. The rates are significantly higher than most of western developed countries. By comparison with other countries, current peculiar situations for single mothers in Japan were explained as the effects of the concept “women necessitating protection”. A concept “women necessitating protection” appealed when state-regulated prostitution was illegalized in 1951 under the Anti-Prostitution Law. The law has two aspects, punishment for prostitution and assistance for “women necessitating protection” to protect sexual morality and society from prostitution and prostitutes. In the law, “women necessitating protection” were defined as women who possibly engage in prostitution. It means that the “women necessitating protection” not only criminal punishment, but custody, correction and protection in facilities for women. When the Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims was enacted in 2001, the concept “women necessitating protection” and implementation system had been kept. Since that time, 1951 or 2001, women who are facing threat are considered as “women necessitating protection”. Currently, under these continuing framework, women and children who escaped from domestic violence still have been treated as object persons of punishment, custody, correction and protection. This unique system in Japan has kept them away from recovering, encouragement and career establishment of female and young DV victims. In comparison with developed western countries and the other developed countries in Asia, it is peculiar that the official support for DV victims on the concept “women necessitating protection”. It means that DV victims are weak person and (or but) are potentially harmful for the society. In conclusion, concept “women necessitating protection” is one of the key factors of higher poverty rate among single parent households in Japan.