More than 80,000 crimes by romantic partners were reported in the past five years, with the numbers showing an upward trend, data showed Monday.
Of the 81,056 reports, 61,133 involved violent crimes such as murder, sexual assault, other assault, battery or criminal intimidation, according to the data submitted by the National Police Agency to Rep. Yang Ki-dae of the ruling Democratic Party.
There were 227 murder reports involving romantic partners during the five-year period. According to the data, police apprehended all of the murder suspects and detained 208 of them. There were 644 reports of sexual violence.
There were 9,364 dating-related crime reports in 2016, 10,303 in 2017 and 10,245 in 2018. The figure spiked to 19,940 in 2019 and decreased a little to 18,945 in 2020.
According to a survey of 1,000 adult men and women carried out by the local broadcaster SBS, 9 percent of respondents said they had experienced dating violence.
When asked what kind of violence they had experienced, the largest proportion, 34.4 percent, said physical violence. Psychological and verbal violence were the next most common answers.
The survey showed that 8 in 10 victims had not reported the violence to police.
When asked why, 29.7 percent of those who had experienced violence but hadn’t reported it said the acts were not serious enough, while 21.5 percent said their partners had promised not to do it again and 17.6 percent said they were afraid of retaliation.
Around 3 out of 4 respondents said penalties for perpetrators of dating violence were too weak.
“Dating violence has a characteristic that occurs between lovers who know the other person’s personal information well, such as addresses and family members. Statistics show that repeated crimes or extreme cases may lead to violent crimes such as murder,” Rep. Yang said.
“We need strong punishment that corresponds to the intensity of the crime and measures to prevent additional crimes together.”
By Kan Hyeong-woo (email@example.com