Japan Data

Japan Sees Record Increase in Domestic Violence Consultations in 2020

Society Family Health

Last year saw a disturbing upward trend in domestic violence cases in Japan as households struggled with issues like economic insecurity caused by the pandemic.

The stress of dealing with the pandemic is taking a toll on Japanese society. A Cabinet Office survey found that domestic violence consultations from April to November 2020 rose by 13,000 compared to the same period in 2019, reaching a record high of 132,355. Experts point to issues like the need to curtail interactions outside the home and the economic fallout of the pandemic as likely factors in the rise.

As part of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Cabinet Office in April 2020 set up a 24-hour telephone hotline and email counseling service called DV Sōdan Plus, improving the reception service system for consultations from the previous year. The first state of emergency in April and May 2020 saw people spend more time at home amid calls to abstain from going out and employees switching to telecommuting. These factors along with anxiety over job security and dramatic changes to lifestyles drove up cases of domestic violence, with consultations being particularly high during May and June 2020.

The government announced a second state of emergency in January 2021, mainly affecting the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai region, and operators of domestic violence hotlines expect consultations will continue to increase.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta)

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