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Vicious crimes against children increasing


Akira Sakuta, criminal psychologist and guest professor at Seigakuin University reports on the sharp increase in crimes against children. You can read additional information on this by checking out the post Child Prostitution & Child Porn in Japan.

Criminal activities against children have occurred in succession. According to the National Police Agency, the number of reported criminal offenses against children under 13, which was on the decline since 2002, surged by 1,501 cases in 2007.

Although there are not many cases of children are kidnapped or killed, such an evil crime shocks those who have children of their own and generates calls for preventive measures. 

This shows that people are more interested in ensuring the safety of children, given the nation’s declining birthrate, and this is a global common trend, I think.

Of criminal cases involving children, there are many crimes committed by the victims’ relatives or persons close to them. Mental or physical sexual abuse against children will inevitably affect their future lives seriously even though the offenses are not reported to the authorities. According to David Jones, a criminal psychologist, sexual-abuse victims tend to feel uneasy, be seized with fear, show such symptoms as overeating, or find it difficult to go to school or concentrate their attention.

Some victims show signs of refusing to go out, have guilt feelings, become short-tempered, or feel depressed. There are also children who behave badly, tell lies, commit theft, or become aggressive toward friends.

Regarding victims in the adolescent period, drugs might come into their lives. Some might commit suicide or run away from home.

According to criteria for diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-UV-TR), pederosis is categorized as a kind of paraphilia. In many sexual molestation cases, crimes are committed based on pederosis, so pedophiles are the most dangerous type among sexual deviants.

There were sexual activities driven by pederosis from long ago, so it is not true to say that crimes committed by pedophiles have sharply increased recently. Sexual abuse against children under 13 only recently has been recognized as a crime and being severely punished.

In protecting children from such crimes, careful measures of self-defense are necessary. It is also important to impose tighter restrictions on child pornography. Revising the relevant law is necessary to criminalize even the individual possession of child pornography. The government is urged to restrict media that could increase or excite pedophiles, including anime and comics.

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