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Okinawa wins one more nebulous title

Date Posted: 2005-10-28

Okinawa lays claim to many dubious titles among the Japanese prefectures, and now another negative title has been added.

Okinawa ranks worst in cases of domestic violence against spouses. The government says Okinawa has triple the number of domestic violence cases per 100,000 population, than other prefectures. Domestic violence guardians with the courts say the number is increasing.

A study covering 2001 through 2005 shows domestic violence in 182 cases against Okinawa spouses, and Prefectural Police are looking for ways to curb the number of incidents. They are already working with the courts to enforce orders restricting violent spouses from being near the victim spouse, but say many violators simply do not listen.

Police are now issuing some basic rules for spouse abusers, and for those who live with and near them. Neighbors are being told to immediately call police when they see a domestic violence spouse in the area.

Prefecture cities, villages and towns are urging residents to cooperate in protecting the victims in their areas. Courts are issuing protection orders that apply not only to protect the victim, but also children under 18 years of age. Abusers are forbidden to have contact.

The courts are prohibiting violators from entering neighborhoods and approaching their residences, and in many cases are being issued expulsion orders forbidding them to even be at their old home. Courts are issuing punishments ranging from Y1,000,000 to a year in prison for violations of their orders.

A court official says most domestic violence cases flare when the abusing spouse is drunk or has been drinking. After the men sober up, though, officials say they become very loving and want to make up with their spouses. Police say the abusers often profess to still loving their partners, husband or wife, even after all the trouble.

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