Anti-groper app becomes a smash hit in Japan

Vex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,954
Thought this might be interesting...

TOKYO: A Tokyo police smartphone app to scare off molesters has become a smash hit in Japan, where women have long run the gauntlet of groping on packed rush-hour trains.

Victims of groping can activate the Digi Police app, which either blasts out a voice shouting "stop it" at top volume, or produces a full-screen SOS message - which victims can show other passengers - reading: "There is a molester. Please help."


The app has been downloaded more than 237,000 times, an "unusually high figure" for a public service app, said police official Keiko Toyamine.

Victims are often too scared to call out for help, she said. But by using the SOS message mode, "they can notify other passengers about groping while remaining silent".

There were nearly 900 groping and other harassment cases on Tokyo trains and subways reported in 2017, according to the latest available data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/stop-it--japan-anti-groper-app-becomes-smash-hit-11551044


 
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Birdseye

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
12,064
User Warned: Off-Topic and inflammatory generalization
Japan has a weird relationship with sex
 

Kewlmyc

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
12,795
So instead of screaming help, you just press a button that does so? I guess the asking for help is too intimidating, but pressing the non-anonymous help button isn't?

Glad this exists at least for the victims.
 

Kain-Nosgoth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,286
Switzerland
That's a great idea, good job on them...

but now watch men complaining that it will facilitate false accusations, i see it coming from miles away...
 

Nivash

Member
Oct 25, 2017
910
I get the argument that you can become so paralysed by fear that you won't scream, but I'm stumped at how the app is solving this. Is there some cultural aspect I'm missing or something else?
 

ZackieChan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,033
Sounds like it just shows it on the screen so you can silently show other passengers, or there's a vocal option.
 
OP
OP
Vex

Vex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,954
So instead of screaming help, you just press a button that does so?

Glad this exists at least.
Yea. Seems kinda weird. But whatever gets people to acknowledge it is happening. Japan has very... passive/indirect ways of dealing with their social issues. I'm guessing they don't want to be seen as too confrontational.
 

Stop It

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,265
Victims of groping can activate the Digi Police app, which either blasts out a voice shouting "stop it" at top volume, or produces a full-screen SOS message - which victims can show other passengers - reading: "There is a molester. Please help."
I'm always being blamed for everything.

Hopefully the app can raise awareness of the issue and get people to speak out against molestation like this.

Using the silence of the victims against them is the key to enabling predators and this hopefully can unlock the rights of those hurt to get help and stop these scumbags.
 

leder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,271
I get the argument that you can become so paralysed by fear that you won't scream, but I'm stumped at how the app is solving this. Is there some cultural aspect I'm missing or something else?
Yeah, basically making a scene or "causing trouble" is looked down upon, even if you're the victim in the scenario. I guess having an app do the call for help for you as part of a pre-planned system might remove some of that.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,960
Scotland
I guess it is easier psychologically to press a button to call out something than call out yourself? Good it seems to be working.
 

Xiaomi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,589
Odd that they keep the "kudasai" in there. wouldn't want to violate decorum when you are being groped I suppose.
 

sarumog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
740
Groping on trains is a huge problem in Japan. I'm glad they have an app now that makes it easier for women to bring attention to it. Almost all the women I knew in Japan had a story about how they were groped on the train at some point in their lives. I think that reported number is way lower than it actual is, as most I imagine go unreported.
 

EarthPainting

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,733
Town adjacent to Silent Hill
It makes sense that systems and procedures lower the barrier for victims stand their ground, so I'm glad it exists. Anything to lessen the power of the perpetrators that thrive in a society that doesn't like to make a scene.
 

Jiminy

Avenger
Mar 29, 2018
2,933
So instead of screaming help, you just press a button that does so? I guess the asking for help is too intimidating, but pressing the non-anonymous help button isn't?
Shame comes into a lot of sexual assault psychology, so while being groped you very likely will feel too ashamed to draw attention to yourself verbally. Hitting an alarm may draw less attention to yourself specifically - but still call out the molester in public, which might be a lighter load, psychologically. Remember the trains are so rammed they're like sardine tins, so you probably couldn't see where an alarm was coming from but probably would be able to see someone's face while they shout.

Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, ... The roots of Japanese mores and sense of justice are vastly different than in western countries. West had Luther, East had Kamasutra.
Truly bizarre post.

For starters: what the fuck does the kamasutra have to do with Japan?
 

Nightbird

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,767
Germany
What I'm more surprised about than anything else is that no one in Japan had that idea before.

It seemed to be a solution easy enough to have been developed a long time ago.

But hey, it exists now, so that's good!
 

tadaima

Member
Oct 30, 2017
824
Tokyo, Japan
So instead of screaming help, you just press a button that does so? I guess the asking for help is too intimidating, but pressing the non-anonymous help button isn't?
Most people would be extremely unwilling to draw further attention to themselves. It is also extremely impolite to do so which may cause negative public reaction and may result in further distress to the victim with the perceived threat that the issue may not even be resolved.

Pressing a button which allows the victim to politely and silently request the assistance of others, while giving bystanders the power to choose to act or ignore, is perfect execution.
 

Ms.Galaxy

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,653
Pressing a button is much more easier than speaking. First off, it's extremely uncomfortable dealing with this kind of situation in the first place. So people hesitate verbally asking for help during this situation, feeling it will get more awkward and embarrassing. Secondly, sometimes women don't even get the chance to say anything as the assaulter might use one of their hands to cover their mouths to prevent screaming. Having a button to alarm nearby people concealed in your pocket also catches the assaulter/harasser off guard so they'll run quickly (hopefully).
 

Urfe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
410
Awesome, glad it’s being used.

It definitely allows anonymity to remain. Everyone is looking at their phone and it’s easy to hit a button without having anyone realize it’s from you.
 
OP
OP
Vex

Vex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,954
What I'm more surprised about than anything else is that no one in Japan had that idea before.

It seemed to be a solution easy enough to have been developed a long time ago.

But hey, it exists now, so that's good!
https://www.mercurynews.com/2007/10/24/japanese-cell-phone-application-wards-off-gropers-in-trains/

2007. Similar.

The application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone’s screen to show to the offender: “Excuse me, did you just grope me?” “Groping is a crime,” and finally, “Shall we head to the police?”

Users press an “Anger” icon in the program to progress to the next threat. A warning chime accompanies the messages.

The application, which can be downloaded for free on Web-enabled phones, is for women who want to scare away perverts with minimum hassle and without attracting attention, according to Takahashi’s Web site.
Also, it is bizzare to go back into the past where they call them "web-enabled phones".
 

Nightbird

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,767
Germany

Sparkedglory2

Member
Nov 3, 2017
2,492
I mean the app is great and all, but it’s sad that something like that even has to be made.

People need to keep their damn hands to themselves.
 

signal

Member
Oct 28, 2017
19,916
excessive working hours has strong linkages to the low japanese birth rate and high amount of adult virgins, but isn't relevant to male/female dynamics and sexual violence in this context.
We just have to fill the bingo card of japanese headlines that make western news in each thread. Quick, someone suggest increased immigration as a way to prevent groping.
 

Sunster

The Fallen
Oct 5, 2018
2,916
That's amazing that it's been downloaded so much. This is a huge problem in Japan and the government just let's it happen pretty much. This is a step in the right direction from their police.

That's what happens when your culture is focused on working to death.
It's what happens when your society is at the extreme end of patriarchal and the fetishization of young girls is widespread and acceptable.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,177
Christ, this has been a problem for years, and this is the best response that's come up.

I mean, this app is clearly useful but the government or police should have cracked down on this shit ages ago.