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8 in 10 multicultural-family violence victims are women: lawmaker

Violent incidents among multicultural families have failed to see a decline, as the numbers of migrant spouses and naturalized citizens have increased over the past few years, a Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker said Monday.

After conducting an audit of data compiled by the Korean National Police Agency, Rep. Lee Jae-jung, a member of the National Assembly’s Public Administration and Security Committee, said around 3,202 suspects were arrested between 2014 and the first half of 2018.

There were 123 arrests in 2014, 782 in 2015 and 976 in 2016. The number of arrests, however, started to decline with 840 and 481 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. 


Gyeonggi Province saw the highest number of domestic violence cases in multicultural families with around 1,294 victims alleging they had been abused. Seoul came in second with 583 cases, South Jeolla Province with 167, Incheon with 162 and lastly North Gyeongsang Province with 129 cases.

According to 2016 demographic data, around 318,948 individuals became naturalized Korean citizens or came to Korea as a migrant spouse. Approximately 80 percent of those polled were women, according to the report.

Considering that the majority of migrant spouses are women, Lee believes many of the victims of violence in multicultural families must also be women, who are “too intimidated to report the abuse due to cultural and language barriers.” The lawmaker stressed the importance of creating a social support system for victims through education and awareness programs. 

By Catherine Chung (