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79 killed by domestic violence last year

The number of people killed in domestic violence rose from 69 in 2010 to 79 last year, a women’s rights group found on Thursday.

The number of females killed in domestic violence was much higher than males, as 65 wives were murdered by their husbands last year, with the remainder being husbands killed by their wives, according to statistics by Korea Women’s Hotline.

The numbers jumped from 57 homicides by husbands and 12 by wives in 2010.

The group estimates there were more domestic homicides as the data was compiled from media reports.

In one case, a 65-year-old woman strangled her husband of more than 40 years with his tie last August after suffering years of violence. In another case, a husband in Seoul stabbed his 60-year-old wife to death in March during a fight over their financial situation. He was reported to have hit his wife whenever he was drunk.

Another statistic from 2010 showed that 53.8 percent of 2,659 married couples had experienced domestic violence during the past year. The figure showed an increase from 40.3 percent in 2004 and 44.6 percent in 2007.

Physical assault among couples increased 5.1 percent from 11.6 percent in 2007 to 16.7 percent in 2010.

Experts say police should offer immediate help and intervention to prevent domestic violence from getting worse.

State data shows that in 50.5 percent of cases, police arrived at the scene but considered it a trivial family matter while 17.7 percent didn’t even bother to go to the scene. In 14 percent of cases, police worked to resolve the cases.

Only 10 percent of the nearly 12,200 domestic violence cases resulted in charges in 2009, according to the Justice Ministry.

By Lee Woo-young  (