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Mail Magazine Vol.136: We live by repeating "See you again!"



Hello! This is Kuma-chan, a PAPS staff member. I have read "To Me When I Was doing a "deal" in Kabuki-cho" written by Kyuri, a new member of PAPS staff, and I wanted to tell you about myself and the girls I have met through PAPS activities.

I grew up in a family where violence reigned. I've been told form my father like, "I wish I had never had you," and my mother was like, "I wish you had never been born." I've read in a book about abuse that there are four types of abuse: physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect, but my parents did all of them. My parents did all of them. I ran away from home when I was 14 years old because I didn't have a safe place to go.

I had no place at home or at school. For the first time, I was needed by men who wanted a young woman's body. Men who paid to have intercourse with me, a minor. If I kept quiet and looked at the ceiling, the act would be over. I had been beaten up depending on my parents' moods, and my sense of safety had become deranged, so I felt "safe" just by not being beaten up by men. As long as I sold my body, I could feel needed and sleep in a safe place where I would not be beaten. Even if someone had told me back then to "take care of myself" or "it's not safe," I would have said like, "Huh?????".


What do you know about me?


A lot has happened in the 10-odd years since then, and now I am a staff member of PAPS, opening a cafe for girls in Kabuki-cho. My role is to listen to the voices of the girls who get swamped in the town called Kabukicho. There are many girls that I never want to forget.



The girl I met around summer was 12 years old.

She was talking to a middle-aged man when I approached her during an outreach (night patrol) activity.

I sensed that, "She's going to be bought if she keeps going like this." The clock struck 21:00.

When I approached her and spoke to her, she said, "Why do you have to go home when you don't have a place at home?" I had no words to reply. Her arms were covered with scars from wrist cuts.


"Adults don't understand what it's like to be a child running away from abuse!"

An another 16-year-old girl tried her best to put her feelings into words. She said, "What am I supposed to do if I am told to go home, but I don't feel safe there?" No one wants to understand me." She told us, She are a kind girl. her kindness, her concern for us, and the way she refrained from giving her a drink made my heart tighten. "Running away was my SOS. I hope you will accept my utmost SOS."



A girl who was a regular at our cafe kept overdosing and had to be taken to the emergency room several times. I think she must have taken about 30 over-the-counter pills. I had the same thing happen to me once, and I was unconscious for three days. I remember one time when I was in a coma for three days, "On my mom's birthday, my sister and I made a cake and waited for her." The way she spoke to me showed how much she cared about her family. "But Mom didn't come home! Ha ha ha ha! Laughter." It's a feeling that makes you want to forget everything. I understand.


One day at the end of the year, an acquaintance of mine from an organization that supports young people asked me to meet this girl. She was 14 years old, her clothes and hair in tatters, and her face had lost all expression.

On the day of Christmas Eve, and my father came to the back alleys around the Shinjuku Toho Building and I thought, "What's going on?" and he said "You're not coming back!" I laughed dryly and said, "That's a surprise, isn't it? My parents abandoned me." The rest of the staff was surprised. I didn't say it at the time but I thought, "Parents like that exist, don't they...?" Because my parents are the same way.



The girls who spend time at our café.

All of them seem to be disappearing at any moment, and some of them have passed on to places where I can no longer see them.


They have the same eyes as I once had, and I just can't let them go.


I have sometimes had a hard time working at PAPS because I have such strong feelings for them. Still, I wanted to make it possible for the children with those eyes to talk, to meet people, and to be safe. Having a safe place in Kabuki-cho is really a lifeline.


Kyuri-chan, thank you for meeting me. You look after adults so well and are so kind that it worries me because you are too kind. Let's have dinner again. Think about what you want to eat. I want to live with you from now on.

We are somehow surviving by repeating "I'll see you again."

 

[Urgent Call] Please support the activities of PAPS [Donation Request]



Send support from your "Amazon Wish List"


We have made a list of things we need such as food, snacks, clothing, hygiene items, sanitary items, etc.

We value the voices of girls who say, "I want these things" or "It would be helpful if I had these things.

We see the poverty of menstruation, such as "I can't afford sanitary napkins."

We are also looking for a place where they can feel safe, rest safely, and be cared for.


Please support us by clicking the link below.




Protect Girls from a bitter winter by Making a "One-Time Donation"


Our café is subsidized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

However, the number of young people suffering from abuse, sexual abuse, and other difficulties is increasing rapidly, and we have not been able to cover the costs of our activities.

We are also troubled by the response to slander and obstruction of our activities.



Support victims of digital sexual abuse by making a "Sustaining Donation"


The number of sexual violence victimization consultations to PAPS's consultation services has also increased rapidly.

In 2019, there were 182 consultations, in 2020 there were 281 consultations, in 2021 there were 691 consultations, and in 2022 there were 1208 consultations.

The budget of 20 million yen for the current fiscal year is not enough to cope with the rapid increase in the number of consultations.

The number of cases is increasing, and the number of victims is getting younger and younger.

PAPS is the only non-profit organization in Japan that provides support for victims of digital sexual abuse.

So we would like ask for your help in maintaining our support activities for the victims.










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