Japanese Women Fight Groping with Mobile Application

japan1.jpgFor years Japanese women have endured being groped while in large crowds. Packed commuter trains are notorious prowling areas for men who feel the need to sexually assault random women. According to Tokyo police, 1853 men were arrested for groping passengers on Tokyo trains in 2005. But the harassment on trains is thought to be much higher because many women are too embarrassed to report sexual assault.

To combat this activity, games developer Takahashi released Anti-Groping Appli. If a woman thinks she has been groped, she can use the application to give a message to the perceived offender. The application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone’s screen to show the groper. Phrases include, “Excuse me, did you just grope me?” “Groping is a crime,” and “Shall we head to the police?”

Anti-Groping Appli has gained in popularity and reached No.7 in this week’s top-10 mobile phone applications list compiled by Web publisher Spicy Soft.

“I first downloaded this as a joke,” said Spicy Soft official Michika Izumi. “But I think it could be a lifesaver if I get groped.”

Usually we speak to our mobile phones but this is an instance where mobile phones speak for us. And in this case they speak to protect women from being sexually assaulted.

Spicy Soft