Domestic violence consultations in Japan hit record high amid pandemic

Kyodo -- May 22
The number of domestic violence consultations in Japan grew 1.6-fold to a record 190,030 in the fiscal year through March, preliminary government data showed Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic is believed to have ramped up stress among couples and families who spent more time at home.

The latest figure for fiscal 2020 was up 70,754 from the previous year, according to the Cabinet Office.

The increase in the number of people seeking help is also believed to be attributable to the launch in April last year of a 24-hour service to accept consultations by phone and online amid the pandemic.

As Tokyo, Osaka and seven other prefectures currently remain under the third COVID-19 state of emergency, an official of the Cabinet Office said people should not hesitate to use the public consultation services as domestic violence victims themselves are often unaware they are being abused.

- Kyodo