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Groping, when used in a sexual form, is touching or fondling another person in a sexual way. Areas of the body most frequently groped include the genitals, buttocks, breast and thighs. When done without permission or against the will of another person, this can be considered a form of sexual abuse or sexual harassment.

Groping generally takes place between consenting adults while making out; groping without consent takes place in crowded places like busy streets, markets or mass transit systems.

Contents

Groping in Japan

A sign on a station platform in Osaka, Japan, showing the boarding point for a ladies-only car.

Chikan (痴漢, チカン, or ちかん) is the Japanese term used to refer to frotteurism, or men who commit such acts (the term for women who commit such acts is chijo, 痴女). Crowded trains are a favourite location for chikan and chijo, and a 2001 survey conducted in two Tokyo high-schools revealed that more than seventy percent of the students had been groped on them.[1] As part of the effort to combat the problem, some railway companies designate women-only passenger cars during rush hours.[2][3][4] While the term is not defined in the Japanese legal system, vernacular usage of the word describes acts that violate several laws. Although crowded trains are the most frequent targets, another common setting are bicycle parking areas, where people bent over unlocking locks are targets. Chikan is often featured in Japanese pornography.

The issue of groping in Japan does not just affect females but males as well[citation needed]. Such is the concern of groping that a film has been made about it.[5] The film I Just Didn't Do It by Japanese film director Masayuki Suo, based on a true story, focuses on a male office worker acquitted of groping after a five-year legal battle. The film aims to highlight the issue of groping and challenge the fairness of Japan's secretive legal system, which has a 99.9% conviction rate in the criminal courts.[6][7] However, an independent legal study has suggested that the reason for the high conviction rate is not a pro-conviction bias but is instead attributable to understaffed and under-financed prosecutors' offices pursuing only the most solid cases.[8] Even so, the criminal courts have traditionally been lenient in cases of groping and have only recently made efforts to combat the social problem with tougher sentences.[9][10]

Groping in South Asia

Eve teasing is a euphemism used in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan[11] for public sexual harassment, street harassment or molestation of women by men, with Eve being a reference to the biblical Eve.[12]

The death of a female student, Sarika Shah, in Chennai in 1998, caused by eve teasing, brought some tough laws to counter the problem in South India.[13] After this case, there has been about half-a-dozen reports of suicide that have been attributed to pressures caused by eve teasing.[14] In 2007, an eve-teasing resulted in the death of Pearl Gupta, a college student in Delhi. In February 2009, female students from M.S. University (MSU) Vadodara thrashed four young men near the family and community sciences faculty, after they passed lewd comments on a girl student staying in SD Hall hostel.[15]

Many other cases go unreported for fear of reprisals and exposure to public shame. In some cases police let the offenders go, after public humiliation through the murga punishment.[16][17] In 2008, a Delhi court ordered a nineteen-year-old youth, after he was caught eve-teasing, to distribute 500 handbills, detailing the consequences of indecent conduct, to youngsters outside schools and colleges.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080204014142/http://www.japanfortheuninvited.com/articles/train-groping.html
  2. ^ The His and Hers Subway
  3. ^ "Japan Tries Women-Only Train Cars to Stop Groping: Tokyo Subway Experiment Attempts to Slow Epidemic of Subway Fondling" An ABC News article.
  4. ^ "Women-Only Cars on Commuter Trains Cause Controversy in Japan"
  5. ^ "Tokyo legal drama gets grip on groping". 2007. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=7&art_id=38575&sid=12296751&con_type=1&d_str=20070220. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  6. ^ "Story Overview". Altamira Pictures, Inc. http://www.soreboku.jp/eng/. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  7. ^ Kamiya, Setsuko (2007-02-02). "'I Just Didn't Do It' questions court system". Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070202a6.html. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  8. ^ Ramseyer, J. Mark; Rasmusen, Eric B. (2001-01). "Why is the Japanese Conviction Rate So High?". The Journal of Legal Studies (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press) 30 (1): 53–88. doi:10.1086/468111. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0047-2530%28200101%2930%3A1%3C53%3AWITJCR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-O&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Leo (2004-11-24). "All-women trains are only way to defeat Tokyo bottom pinchers". The Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article394630.ece. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  10. ^ Fukada, Takahiro, "In anonymous packed train lurk gropers", Japan Times, August 18, 2009, p. 3.
  11. ^ Here It is called eve-teasing Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India: Narratives of Gender and Sexuality, by Jyoti Puri. Published by Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0415921287. Page 87.
  12. ^ Eve-Teasing The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English, by Grant Barrett. Published by McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006. ISBN 0071458042. Page 109.
  13. ^ Murder charges in eve-teasing case Indian Express, Monday, July 27, 1998.
  14. ^ Eve teasing Women Police in a Changing Society: Back Door to Equality, by Mangai Natarajan. Published by Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008. ISBN 0754649326. Page 54.
  15. ^ MSU hostel girls beat up eve teasers The Times of India, February 23, 2009.
  16. ^ Pak police reins in eve-teasers with 'murga' punishment Daily Excelsior, October 10, 2007.
  17. ^ Public prosecution: Crime and instant punishment! The Times of India, June 29, 2006.
  18. ^ Youth held for eve-teasing, told to distribute handouts Indian Express News Service, June 10, 2008.







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