The Korea Herald


Sex crime victims suffer outdated prejudices

By Choi Jeong-yoon

Published : June 21, 2023 - 17:13

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One-third of South Koreans believed that a victim of sexual assault has some responsibility for the attack if the crime occurred while the victim was inebriated, a government survey showed Wednesday.

According to the survey of 10,020 people aged 19 to 64, 32.1 percent of respondents said that if a victim was drunk when assaulted, the victim is partially responsible for being attacked.

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family conducted a survey on public's perceptions of sex crimes over the course of 9 months starting in March last year.

The survey also showed that 13.2 percent of respondents said that sexual harassment committed while drinking could be exempt from punishment, and could be tolerated as "mistakes."

The data revealed that almost half of South Koreans suggested victims were accountable for harassment.

When asked about why sexual violence takes place, 46.1 percent said it was due to victims wearing indecent or revealing outfits. Another 39.7 percent attributed to false reports, saying many report the case maliciously for financial reasons or out of anger or retaliation of an individual. And 31.9 percent of participants agreed that kissing or accepting a caress is considered sexual consent.

Almost 30 percent of men in their 20s answered that "It's impossible to forcibly have sex (rape) if the victim resists," eliciting that intercourse cannot occur by force and that it can only come from mutual consent.

In general, as the age of both men and women increases, the notions and stereotypes related to sexual violence grew stronger. Such perceptions were reinforced in men than women within the same age group.