4% of Women Suffer Sexual Assault in Their Lifetime

      December 29, 2010 12:14

      Four out of 100 Korean women fall victim to rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, a nationwide survey on sexual violence published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family suggests. The poll found 5.1 out of 1,000 women experienced rape or attempted rape over the past year and 42.1 in their lifetime.

      The number in 2010 was more than double the 2.2 in 2007, and 20.6 out of 1,000 women said they suffered sexual assault, including groping in 2010, up from 4.7 from 2007.

      Lee Jeong-eun, a researcher at Yonsei University Graduate School of Social Welfare, attributed the high rate to "improved awareness" of sexual violence. As an example, she cited the increased rate of reports of rape to police from 7.1 percent in 2007 to 12.3 percent in 2010.

      Reports of domestic violence also increased significantly during the same period. According to the ministry's survey, it rose from 40.3 percent in 2007 to 53.8 percent this year.

      The rate is calculated taking into account physical, emotional and economic violence, and sexual abuse and neglect. Physical violence stood at 16.7 percent this year, up from 11.6 percent in 2007.

      Kim Kwon-young of the ministry said, "The increase in domestic violence seems to have been caused by the unstable economic situation and unemployment in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008." Economic issues were the fourth biggest cause of domestic violence in 2007, but they jumped to second place this year, she added.

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