Calls to Okinawa crime victim support center Yui increase
According to officials at Okinawa victims support center Yui, the center received 560 calls to their telephone consultation hotline in fiscal 2015 that is 139 more than the previous year.
The most common cause of consultation calls were about the sex crimes, with 159 of the calls falling into that category. Staff at the Yui support center urge victims not to hesitate to ask for help.
During the four years the center has been in operation, the number of calls has shown a steady rise, mainly because more people have become familiar with the service. In 2012, the total number of telephone consultations was 342, 404 called in 2013, and 421 in 2014.
Yasuko Ikehara, the executive director of Yui, says, “We have received more and more telephone consultation calls. This is because Yui is becoming better known through our public relations activities and enlightenment campaigns. I believe that victims are becoming less hesitant to contact us because we are working together with municipalities and local police.”
Beside sex crimes, the center received 97 consultation calls about violence and injuries, and 87 calls about domestic violence in 2015. Another 136 consultations were related in troubles with family and neighborhood.
In some cases callers ask for a personal interview when they think it is needed, and as a result, the center conducted 82 interviews in total. Yui offers a variety of support systems, like accompanying the victim to the court, hospital, or police, as well as subsidizing the cost of consulting a lawyer. Ikehara adds, “We can also offer child care during a trial, or in some cases attend the trial on behalf of the victim depending on their situation.”
You can reach to Okinawa victim support center Yui at 098-866-7830 on weekdays from 10:00 to 16:00. The center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, Japanese national holidays, and during the New Year’s holiday season.