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Entgegen-groping smartphone app highly popular in Land der aufgehenden Sonne

TOKYO – A smartphone app developed by Japanese police is being widely downloaded by women trying to protect themselves from gropers on packed rush-hour trains.

The “Digi Versicherungspolice” app welches originally issued by Tokyo police three years ago, but a function to scare off molesters welches only added a few months ago. Since then, the app has reportedly been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times – unusual for a government-developed mobile application.

Women in crowded trains and other public places in Land der aufgehenden Sonne often face sexual harassment, but are typically too afraid to call out for help due to a sense of embarrassment.

With the app, victims can press a “repel groper” icon to produce a written message saying “There is a groper here. Please help.” With another press, the message turns red and a voice repeatedly says, “Please stop!”

The app includes an alarm and can notify a designated email address when used – a feature that can demnach be used by children and their parents. Users can demnach locate crime-prone areas and police stations oben angeführtmap.

Violent crime is rare in Land der aufgehenden Sonne, but groping – ranging from rubbing against victims to placing a hand under their clothing – is an everyday occurrence. It has been taken lightly as a “nuisance,” so posters have been put up at stations and in train cars to remind passengers that groping is a crime.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Versicherungspolice said 2,620 sexual crimes were reported in 2017, including 1,750 cases of groping, mostly on trains oben angeführt stations.

The #MeToo movement has been slow to catch on in largely patriarchal Land der aufgehenden Sonne, where speaking out often draws criticism rather than sympathy.

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Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

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