NATIONAL

Police authorized to enter homes in domestic disturbances

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 27, 2012 - 20:00
  • Updated : Apr 27, 2012 - 20:00
Police will be authorized to enter premises following a report of a domestic disturbance without a search warrant in accordance with a new law taking effect next week.

According to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, the law revision regarding domestic violence will take effect on May 2 after passing the National Assembly late last year.

According to the ministry, the revision comes amid a public perception of domestic violence cases being simple marital disputes. The ministry also argues that police have no real means of dealing with reports under the current law.

Ministry officials said the revision was to prevent further harm to victims of domestic abuse. Until now, police responding to a domestic disturbance call have been forced to turn around should the assailant refuse to open the door, possibly leading to additional harm for the victim.

With the revision, officers will be able to enter after assessing the situation and take further action when deemed necessary, including escorting the assailant out of the victim’s home and imposing a restraining order.

According to an official, the ministry believes the new police measures will “significantly contribute to securing the victim’s safety and protecting the victim in the initial stages of the crime.”

According to government data from 2010, 51.1 percent of those surveyed believed that domestic abuse was a family affair, and 62.7 percent did not report incidents they had been made aware of. Data released by the ministry also showed that, on average, domestic abuse is carried out over a period of more than 11 years.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)