Psychiatrist Rika Kayama (pictured), interviewed the National Women’s Shelter Net’s Director Tomoko Endo about violence on dates:
The Law on the Prevention of Spousal Violence covers married and common law couples, so violence while dating is exempt.
When we talk of violence, we usually imagine women being kicked and beaten, but date hostility more often than not includes scrutiny and dominance. Such mental violence is not easy to identify from outside.
Endo said that the popularization of the cell phone has helped increase this new form of date aggression. For example, some men force their girlfriends to report each time their lecture at university ends, or order phone numbers and e-mail addresses of male friends to be deleted from their cell phones.When such men are in a good mood, they will whisper “I want to monopolize you because I love you. I want to know all about you.” Then the woman will start thinking that she is really loved. When you are shut out from the outside world and continually being cursed how stupid you are, you generally start accepting such enslavement, thinking “he is the only man for a stupid person like me.” This is another feature of violence among people dating, according to Endo.
You might wonder why such women don’t leave these men. They’re not married so it should be easy to leave them. Some women do understand that there is no merit in being with such men, but many young girls cannot bear being without a boyfriend.
Once, a woman visited me for consultation, complaining of violence by her boyfriend, “I know it’s not good. But I feel so lonely … Besides, everyone else has someone. I am ashamed to be alone.” The vanity and fear against solitude drives her to the misconception that a violent boyfriend is still better than no man at all.
Christmas is approaching, and it might be natural for young women to enthusiastically want a nice boyfriend, but it is much wiser to remain single than to keep seeing a boyfriend that will ruin you. Being alone is not a sin, nor a shame. Young people have to be more confident in themselves. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)