According to Academic Box, heinous cases of sexual assault happened at both the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995 and the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. And this, unfortunately, also happened at the recent great earthquake in Kumamoto.
Having lost their houses, many people crowd in nearby sports hall shelters and commute to school and work from there. During office hours where most people are not around, reports of men exposing their genitals to children and having children touch them are heard. There was also a case where some children playing in a corner near the shelter were made to perform oral sex on a man who sneaked in.
In a bid to prevent sleeping women and children from being molested at night, the lights are being kept on, but that is not stopping horrific sex crimes from happening.
A woman told the reporter that she was raped at the shelter while sleeping with her child. The man later punched a staff on patrol who came to stop him. Some women also said they were raped by unknown men hiding in their torn houses when they went back to tidy it up. Female student volunteers were also gang-raped when a man pretended to offer to take them to the shower place in his car.
Many of these perpetrators at the shelter are middle aged men who get drunk. A lady by the name Ms. Kichijo said she raised the issue to the staff before but was told that while they did know of things like that happening, they are unable to do anything if no one screams and no report is filed. As long as these remain unreported, the staff can only treat it as regular couple making love.
A middle-aged woman once screamed out when she was about to be raped and the police was called, but as she felt embarrassed to be experiencing something like that at her age, and also to avoid causing her family trouble, she decided to not file a report against the man. When Ms. Kichijo confronted the man, he actually took off his pants in front of her not showing any sign of remorse. The man continued to live at the shelter after the incident.
It might be hard to believe something like that is happening when mainstream media is not reporting them but there have been instances when arrests were made such as once when a married man with children went into a junior high school, beat up a sleeping woman and threatened her with a blade before raping her. And even after his arrest, he adamantly said he doesn’t know anything.
As with all criminal activity, such reported cases are but the tip of the iceberg. It is necessary to assume that both men and women of all ages can possibly be victims in some way or another and come up with some laws to prevent it. Closing an eye to the matter is as good as playing the role of an accomplice to these unlawful sex criminals. It is thus important to not cover things like these up. Only by creating awareness can things begin to change.