The latest sexual abuse scandals that shocked the nation did not take place in cities but in small towns or farming communities. This reflects a wider problem whereby children in the countryside are more at risk than among the bright lights of the city.
From July to August last year, the National Youth Policy Institute surveyed 602 children from single-parent households or living with their grandparents, and 1.1 percent of those living in Seoul said they had been sexually abused over the past year. But the proportion was 2.8 percent among kids in other cities and 6.6 percent in rural communities.
Also, 4.4 percent of rural children said they had been sexually assaulted over the past year, around two times higher than the 2.2 percent of children surveyed in Seoul and 2.5 percent of kids living in other metropolitan cities.
"The smaller the community, the higher the proportion of single-parent households or children being raised by their grandparents, which increases the likelihood that they are not being cared for properly," said Sung Yoon-sook at the institute.