Tribute to achievements by women in Japan International Women’s Day 2020

We give tribute to and celebrate the achievements of women in Japan

On International Women’s Day, all of us on Team Jane take this opportunity to discuss our commitment to continual research and launching of new initiatives and action plans to raise awareness of our goal to imagining and implementing a world without sexual violence.


Today. we thank our founder Catherine Jane Fisher (JANE) for her dedication and hard work. On March 8th, around the world many women and men and organisations such as I Am Jane, will hold gatherings and celebrations. These gatherings range from just a few people getting together through to large scale events and press conferences. People around the world are representing women and reinforcing their commitment to raising awareness of the different needs of women across the globe. With measures to lessen the Corona Virus, I Am Jane gatherings have been postponed initially until April. The Day Of Innocence Charity Concert Event will  held later this year so please subscribe for this update.

Jane an Australian, long term resident of Japan was the first woman to break the silence in Japan after being raped in 2002.

Realizing that there were no 24-hour rape crisis centres available at the time and that help for victims of sexual violence were scarce, this is where her journey began as the grassroots advocate and human rights defender that she is today. Jane established Warriors Japan on May 3rd, 2002 and I Am Jane has continued to empower people not only in Japan but worldwide.

Not just International Women’s Day but every day!

In our interview with Catherine, we asked her for her message to the women who come to her for support after becoming victim to rape or other forms of violence.

In 2002, when I was raped, I was shocked to realize the lack of support for rape victims in Japan and the nonexistence of 24-hour rape crisis centres and world standard rape test kits.

Also, there was no support for victims such as myself and I found myself all alone whilst suffering from acute PTSD. I am most grateful to my family in Australia for their support that they gave me via telephone at that time and to the Australian Consulate in Japan for their assistance in my darkest hour. When I began my grassroots advocacy here in Japan in 2002, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, speaking in front of world organizations such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, receiving awards and publishing my books.

These books, such as” I Am Catherine Jane”, is a book which took over a decade for me to write about my painful journey. However by the time I finally finished writing it and became the first woman to pave way for enforcing my Japanese court ruling in my favour to not only in Japan but then to be endorsed in the USA I realized the “Power Of One” which is the same title of the documentary film of my life story by 60 Minutes. It was an honour that other women such as Taylor Swift also made the decision that Justice was more important than money, and followed the precedent that I had set in my history
making court trial in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when I won my landmark court trial and asked for only $1. I am honoured to have set this landmark precedent for others to continue following.

People often ask me the reason why I was able to do this is and that answer is simple. It is because I never wanted to see another person suffer so horrifically as I did. To suffer alone without support in one of the most difficult times in my life. So, for the past almost two  decades I have been on call 24/7 for those victims who have contacted me. I clearly remember the names of each and every man, woman and child that has come to me for help. Their names are kept secret as it is our protocol to secure the privacy of each individual.  On each International Women’s Day I remember those who go on to help others and never seek recognition because they inspire me.

Some victims have even taken a plane to fly to meet me or I have travelled long distances to meet with them. Each person has experienced the rape or violence perpetrated against them in a different way, but there is one thing that everyone has in common. It is that they feel so alone and suffer in silence unable to raise their voices. I listen to their experiences and expediently assess their situation and immediate needs. In a sense, I become their voice and then reach out to legal experts and to our Team Jane members for advice. We are on 24-hour call for people who contact us and they know that they are able to talk to me about anything that is on their mind, without fear of being ashamed or judged. Also, they know that I never share any of their personal details unless I have been given authority by them to do so.

Even though we have received many requests for support by men, today this 2020 International Women’s Day I give tribute to the women and children who we have had the honour of assisting.

Here are my thoughts about each person I met

The first time I met you, I felt your pain. I knew that, as I did, you could not understand why another human being could be so cruel to have raped or violated you in some terrible way. I know that you were shocked that the police who were meant to be dedicated to their job and help you, instead often treat victims without sufficient care or compassion and you also experienced that traumatic experience by the police. I always did my best to research all the information that you need and then the decision making was always left up to you. I know that the decisions that you had to make were never easy but I always stood by you when you made them. I know that when you felt so frustrated and upset at the judicial system that was supposed to be protecting you and is still far from perfect but you kept on moving forward. I will always continue to do my best to stand by you and keep advocating for changes in Japanese legal system. When I spoke at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva in front of the Human Rights Council, I remembered each and every person that I had assisted over these past two decades. Inside my heart I was your voice. To be a voice for the voiceless has never been easy. Yet I always hold onto the fact that even though when we first met you were a victim but you never gave up and finally you became victorious. I always believe that the trials that you had to go through may one day become your triumphant testimonies to tell others so they could also become strong survivors like you are. I want to tell you how amazing I think you are, for never giving up and lastly to thank you. To thank you for believing in me and trusting me that I would do everything in my power to help you and would never give up on you either. Thank you for trusting me that I would not blame you or judge you. Thank you for trusting me with your story of your life in my hands. I always wish that I had met you for a different reason but I know that together we always will be victorious and that together we will fight to receive the Justice that you so rightly deserve.

As you all know I came up with the concept of ‘Empowertarian’ which is a person who empowers themselves and the life of others. I am thrilled to always see you become Empowertarians too.

One step at a time, one day at a time, we restore our lives to be the brilliant Empowertarians that we are meant to be. On this International Women's Day and every day we give tribute to those women who do so much to help others.

Sometimes we receive comments from people who like our website and make comments about JANE

Here’s just one

"I read Miss Catherine Jane Fisher’s book (her story) and I am so amazed in her. I am so amazed how she is as a person, as a brave woman and as a human being. I am amazed how she faced the many different storms in her life despite of all the pain she carrying. In her journey she remained warm at heart as a loving daughter, a loving mother to her three children and a loving person with true and deep concerns for other human beings. I am so amazed in her character, how she handled things in her life, in her struggles and how she was able to stand up and face those people who hurt her so deeply to get the justice she deserved. She continued to keep her faith in our Lord despite of all that she had been through. She remains a good person as she is, with a warm heart and love for others. She continues to fight for the right of every women who cannot stand and speak for themselves. She became a voice of every victim who have suffered as she experienced herself. Her strong will and determination make her win in all the battles she faced in her life. Even now, she continues to help many victims of horrible experiences. Those women who cannot fight for themselves alone. She gives light for every dark moment in their life. She is a good example for every woman, to be. Strong and not to be afraid to fight for the truth and justice that every victim deserves. Her legacy will remain in everyone’s heart that she touches along the way and I am one of them. May her journey become a good example for everyone to not give up our battle and to fight with hope and faith, no matter how big our enemy is."

-Anonymous in Japan

International Woman's Day