How to deal with domestic violence

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When you become a victim of violence done by spouse or ex-spouse, in some cases it is difficult to call for help from a third party. An attempted violence will count as a charge of an assault or an injury by criminal law. However, it used to be a difficult decision to take it to the court since it is a family matter. In order to defend the human right that has been over looked, the Prevention of Spousal violence and Protection of Victims-Act was enacted. This law is active toward not only to spouses but also to couple of common-law marriage.

This law also regulates not only the physical violence but also actions that harm both body and mind such as 1. Abusive language, 2. Abandon without any economical support, and 3. Forced sex.

If you receive domestic violence, mostly being a case for women, the victim can consult the Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Center ( If you need to live separately for safety, this help center will provide the victim a temporary shelter, support divorce procedure, help applying for Public Assistance Act in case the victim has no income, and support with any other necessities. On top of temporary solutions, also the support center will support the victim who has difficulty living independently to recover a normal living. For example, they help the victim find job and introduce to public residence. A private group called "Private Shelter" sometimes conducts these kinds of supports.

If you receive domestic violence, you can sue the other party by turning in a report to the police office. A guidance or warning from the police can precede the trial and in most cases this will be the first solution. In case of domestic violence, the victim can receive the Assistance from the Chief of the Prefectural Police Headquarters including giving instruction over measures against domestic violence, mediating communication between two parties, and helping out the negotiation. Also, they will hide the victim's new resident from the abuser and deal appropriately when the abuser ask for the victim's place.

The victim can demand compensation at civil trail and take the procedure for compensation from divorce. In these procedures, the Petition for Protection Orders is effective as well. The victim can ask for Protection Orders from the district court of where the abuser lives. This Protection Orders prohibits the abuser to come close to the victim for six months in case when the victim has his or her life in danger if any more violence is done. For Petition for Protection Orders, you need to fill in an application of complaint with the following categories: 1. Situation of violence, 2. Facts of possibility in major harm to the body, and 3. If you are consulting the police or the supporting center or not. If the opponent violates the order, the abuser will be in charge of a year in prison or in charge of up to a million yen. In this procedure, you can demand the opponent to stop calling and emailing as well. Also, in order for the victim to move out of the house smoothly, away from the abuser, you can demand the opponent to leave the house temporary.

When the Protection Orders are announced, the police office around the area will be informed that the orders are issued from the court. Therefore, if the spouse continued to follow the victim and violate the order, the victim can call the police and arrest the opponent.

If you have problems with domestic violence, it is necessary to consult the Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Center or the police office from the earlier stage. The faster you take action, the better the situation will be. Smooth settlements will not only benefits the victim but also for the spouse as well.