資料 Changes of Memory
（Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University）
In your books, you talked about PTSD. You talked, for example, about the situation where patients (soldiers) act out“pathological symptoms” in desire for compensation.
First, I would like to talk about my case studies that relate to PTSD and then pose a question.
First of all, I want to consider the issue of memory from my case studies. In my research I have interviewed rape victims who had been forcibly impregnated as a result of rape. In some cases they choose to have an abortion. In other cases they choose to deliver the child (including cases where they have no choice but to deliver a child because the pregnancy has progressed too much). In Japan, abortion as a result of rape is legally allowed. There is no atmosphere of hostility towards abortion on religious grounds, unlike the United States. In fact, the process of having an abortion is not very difficult, and there is little criticism of those who have an abortion.
The first case I will introduce is an interview with a staff member of a non-profit organization (NPO) that supports female rape victims. Actually, the NPO mediates adoptions. Since there are few specialized support institutions for the victims of sexual crimes in Japan, rape victims often ask such organizations for help and consultation.
Among rape victims, there are many victims who tell the NPO that they want to have an abortion. If an abortion can still be done, the NPO will introduce a hospital in which a doctor can perform an abortion. However, if it is quite late or too late for an abortion, the NPO help rape victims deliver their children. Then the delivered child will be basically put up for adoption. Based on interviews to staff members, one-third of all the women they consult actually choose to keep and raise their children after giving birth. However, all of the rape victims choose to give up their children and put them up for adoption. But this does not mean the mother has no attachment to her child. In fact, among the rape victims who deliver a child, some will later send birthday presents to the child they put up for adoption.
I will introduce another case. This is from an interview with a rape victim who was forcibly impregnated by rape and had an abortion. She cannot still forget her experience of having an abortion, and insists that she does not want to have an abortion any more in the future. Of the aborted fetus, she expresses “we should have been together in fate as fellow victims”, “we were the same”, and “I felt so sorry for the baby”. However, when I asked “If you could go back to that time, would you have delivered the baby?”, she thought about it for a while and responded “After all, I guess it would have been impossible to deliver the baby.”
Now I will consider trials concerning rape. If rape victims have abortions, there is little doubt in the trial that they were truly raped. On the other hand, if the rape victims deliver a baby, doubt is raised during the trial as to whether a rape actually occurred. In other words, when they deliver the baby, their sexual act is thought not as a rape, but as a consensual act. Regarding this, though a victim might deliver her child and show affection to it, it should not erase the fact that she was a victim of rape. In this kind of situation, even if she delivers and has affection for the baby, her being diagnosed as having PTSD symptoms enables the possibility that her past experience can be confirmed as rape.
The memories and feelings of rape victims change every day. Of course, there may be memories and feelings which never change. Rape victims experienced complicated broken, non-monolithic feelings. Concerning the first victim, although she said at first “I want to have an abortion”, she prepared birthday presents for her child on the child's 2nd or 3rd birthday. Also we can confirm that the latter female victim in the previous examples who did have an abortion, had a feeling of regret for her past actions (the abortion). Of course, we do not know if she regarded the fetus as a “fellow in fate” at the time of the rape. She says she does not know when she began to have that sort of feeling.
Thus, because PTSD functions as “equipment” in the present society, there are some possibilities that “positive felling toward a child she delivered” and “guilty conscience toward an abortion” might be used to prove that pains for the rape victims are not so serious. (For example, there are no words or disease names expressing “anguish” for the act of giving a present to a child who was born as a result of rape.) Now, some rape victims are asking for a diagnosis or disease like as PTSD. This is because by being diagnosed with PTSD, they can then prove to themselves and to society that “I didn't do anything wrong” and “I wasn't the bad person”. One way of proving this is in court. In the justice system, whether a person is admitted to have PTSD or not is highly influential on the outcome of the trials. In Japan, PTSD diagnosis is thought to be of that level of importance, and is seen as objectively true.
If rape victims wish to win a suit, they need to keep silent against their real feelings which involve positive aspects of delivering or negative aspects of abortion as a result of rape. In your writings, you mentioned “pathological symptoms.” If these victims acted in order to be diagnosed with PTSD, I would have an extremely easy time. They could do so by saying things such as “I never want to see a child like that again”, or “I regret having delivered the child”. However, this is a certainly not a desirable trend, and one can assume that the rape victims do not want to win in court with their own emotions distorted. They would like to be naturally recognized as rape victims.
Though I know the complexity of victim's broken experiences very well, when a victim pursues a win at court, I have no choice but to make use of PTSD equipment as a supporter.
However, as a victim supporter, I can understand the irony of this. That is, the more I make use of PTSD equipment, the more PTSD may be kept.
For the more we make use of the PTSD equipment, the more rape victims' positive feelings are neglected although they are actually important aspects of their experience. As a result, the real complexity of the rape victims is being reduced in the end.
And, ironically, though the supporters know the rape victims' real complexity of the situation, we are in a kind of trap. We have no choice but to make use of the PTSD equipment “strategically”.
To the situation of this trap, I was wondering how we could critically examine this kind of situation. What do you think about these critical examinations ？