Schoolgirls fight back after man gropes student’s breasts inside train.

Groping is a big problem on Japanese trains, and despite signs, pins, and women-only carriages sending a big message to the public that touching another person without their consent is never okay, cases of sexual harassment still persist.

The victims are often schoolgirls, who are sadly targeted to such an extent that one victim even wrote an entire book about her traumatic near-daily experiences. Thankfully, though, these schoolgirls are becoming more and more vocal at protecting themselves against “chikan”, the Japanese word for a man who gropes women on trains.

Case in point is this new video, showing a couple of schoolgirls running after a suspected chikan on the platform of Akabane Station in Tokyo’s Kita Ward. Helped out by an impressive assist by an older gentleman on the platform, the chikan goes flying, falling face-down on the concrete while the girls continue their pursuit.

The video, which was filmed on 28 May, begins as passengers can be seen disembarking from a train on Platform 5 at the station. A girl can be heard shouting “nigeru na!” (“Don’t run away!“) just before a man in a suit runs by, which prompts an older man to stick his foot out, tripping the offender and giving the girls some extra time to catch up to him.

▼ A perfectly timed raise of the foot sends the perpetrator flying.

While it’s disappointing to see that nobody else stepped in to try and help the schoolgirls, their persistence in pursuing the man led to him being arrested by station staff. 

According to a statement by station operators Japan East Rail, the suspect attempted to escape by heading towards another platform, but he was caught and detained by a rail attendant. Police were called, and one of the girls who was chasing him reported the man had groped her breasts while they were inside the train.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police say the man who was arrested was a salaryman in his 30s, who has now been charged with indecent assault against a minor. The suspect has admitted to the charges.

News outlets were quick to pick up on the incident, saying that the person who filmed the video was a male student, who immediately felt that this might likely be a case of chikan after he heard the girls shouting “Don’t run away!”. The male student filmed the incident in case video evidence might be needed to help catch the culprit, and said there were three girls involved at the time, with two giving chase while the other went to look for a station attendant.

Some news media were interested to find out whether the man who tripped the culprit could be charged with assault. However, Japanese lawyers have been quoted as saying that while this could be considered assault under ordinary circumstances–and possibly in cases where the accused may be found innocent–in this case, because it’s a member of the public stepping in to help apprehend a criminal, they would not be held liable for the crime.

Given that the suspect confessed to the crime, he was indeed a criminal, and no assault charges are currently being pursued. And kudos to the girls for standing up to the criminal and helping to reprimand him, which means there’s one less chikan on the rails for people to passive-aggressively post stickers on.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Images: Twitter/@influencer_com_

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