Domestic violence is something that can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. In our week 13 and 14 discussions, we focused on the U.S’s take on domestic violence, however, it is critical to also talk about how domestic violence is viewed in other countries as well. There have been many criticisms on how our justice system fails domestic violence victims, but other countries have it way worse and it is completely shocking. In this paper, the focus will be on South Korea and how it believes that domestic violence is a private issue within the family.
Domestic violence happens between people in an intimate relationship and it can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse (Staff). “According to the 2010 Korea National Survey of Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence, 53.8 percent of respondents who had been married had experienced abuse in the previous year, and 16.7 percent had suffered physical abuse. Over the course of a marriage, the figures for physical abuse rose to 23.5 percent of respondents, with emotional abuse marking 50.7%, economic abuse 13.9 % and sexual abuse 13.5% (Herald).” South Korea has deep patriarchal ideologies, which also makes some men believe that women are like their property.
There have also been many famous cases where domestic violence occurs and not much happens to the male. For example, Goo Hara, a famous K-pop star was caught in a scandal this past September, because she was assaulted by her then-boyfriend. It was going back and forth between the two talking to the media, where the boyfriend said he was assaulted by her, and had photos showing the scratch marks on him. However, she stated that it was self-defense because he started to physical abuse her when he found out that she went out to eat with her manager and another male celebrity. Despite all the evidence that was provided supporting her statement, the arrest warrant for the ex-boyfriend was declined by the courts. There hasn’t been much done since then, and he has not been arrested so she has to live in fear, not knowing what he’s going to do, all while the courts decide what to do. Another incident occurred in March, where a woman was beaten horrendously by her younger boyfriend.
An argument started between the two, and then he started hitting her and took her to his home. There, he ended up locking her up for a whole day and she was able to escape, and because she was too scared to go back, she texted him demanding that they break up. It wasn’t the end of the abuse because when she went back to collect her belongings, her ex was waiting at the door, and started beating her once again. There was more to this, but I won’t get any further because it was incredibly disturbing, But what stood out the most, was the interview that the parents of the abuser gave when news of it came out. The parents had said it was all her fault because she has a bad temper and made him angry and her father also said a man is allowed to hit their significant other when they are mad.
A study was done where 2,000 South Korea men responded that over 79% of them had physically or psychologically abused a girlfriend while they were dating. And about 71% of those also said that they had controlled their girlfriends. They controlled them by have restrictions on who they can talk to, hang out with as well as how they dressed (Herald). Although it looks like the patriarchal system has a big part in domestic violence, alcohol use also plays a big role in it. South Korea has started to crack down on those who drink and it leads them to violence. Hite-Jinro is the country’s biggest producer of alcoholic drinks and it has put a warning label on it’s drinks, based on police getting more involved with domestic incidents involving alcohol (McCurry).