If your life is in danger, call the police at 110

International Women’s Day 2023

The mental health impact of COVID-19 in Japan is not pretty. Especially for women in Japan, the statistics are sobering.

In 2020, there was a surge in suicide by women in Japan. One of the reasons cited for this is the large number of non-regular (part-time) female workers, who were “forced into poverty due to being unexpectedly let go or asked to take leave of absence from their jobs.” 

In 2021, Japan saw a record-high number of requests for Intimate Partner Violence support following the government’s request for people to stay home. 75% of these survivors of Intimate Partner Violence were women.  In 2022, Japan was once again ranked toward the bottom of the Global Gender Gap Report from the World Economic Forum.

Sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls of all ages continue to occur on streets, in public spaces, and online, with the number escalating over the last few years as a result of the pandemic. In 2021, the number of reports to the Japanese police for physical and sexual violence, stalking, and image-based abuse (such as revenge porn) all increased to their highest level on record. NPO Colabo supporting young women and teenage girls in the Tokyo area found the number of young women needing housing or financial support in the last few years has increased significantly since the pandemic as many lost their part-time jobs and are unable or don’t feel safe to be at home.

 As we approach International Women’s Day, we would like to thank you for your generous support of TELL.  Supporting survivors of domestic abuse is a key part of TELL’s mission and a pillar of what we do in our Lifeline. All of our Support Worker volunteers are trained to provide support for individuals experiencing Intimate Partner Violence, and we are proud of the work that we do to provide that support. 

In 2022, the TELL Lifeline handled more than 8,300 chats and calls from users in need. Of these connections, 390 were about an abusive relationship, and 44 of these connections were providing direct support for someone who experienced rape or sexual assault. But as the new executive director for TELL, I have hope. Last week, I was honored to participate in the latest commissioning of those trainees who have qualified to volunteer for TELL’s Lifeline.

These amazing people from all walks of life dedicated a decent chunk of their time in the last 5 months to go through TELL’s rigorous training. They learned how to listen with kindness and open hearts. They are trained to support lifeline users facing a variety of issues, including suicidal ideation, bullying, pregnancy, loneliness, grief, and social anxiety. But the one issue closest to my heart is an intimate partner or domestic violence. It is one of the many good reasons I came to TELL. It is the unbelievable dedication of all the TELL staff, volunteers, clinicians, donors, and sponsors for the last 50 years that gives me hope. I know we won’t be able to stop all the pain and suffering of this world, but we can change the world for one person. That gives me hope for the future.

This year is TELL’s 50th Anniversary and marks an important milestone in our history. For 50 years, a volunteer has been there, every day, here to listen. We will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary throughout the year and encourage you to join us.

You can get your tickets to the 50th Anniversary Celebration here.

To donate and support TELL, click here.