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‘It will be on everyone’s computer’: digital sex crimes are harassing South Korean women

South Korea’s top technology has increased the number of sexual offenses against girls and girls.

According to stakeholders, researchers and human rights groups, South Korea is the world’s largest pornographic and sharing site for pornography.

Technology, including high-speed travel and a secure environment, has provided new vehicles to spread discrimination between men and women and dissemination of violence against women.

“Unfortunately, South Korea has been leading the spread, diversity and dangers of digital sex crimes,” said Heather Barr, human rights director at Human Rights Watch.

The country boasts the world’s largest smartphone and high-speed internet, while 99.5% of households have internet access. It was also the first country to do so launch 5G service.

A new HRW report based on interviews with victims and their families shows that the offenders tend to have well-known images taken and published by visitors and women.

On one occasion, Lee Ye-rin * found a watch that his boss had given him as a gift that he had been showing off his room for several weeks.

“What happened happened in my own room – sometimes… In my room, I was scared for no reason,” Lee said. He added that a year after the case was discovered, he would still rely on medication to deal with depression and anxiety.

Kang Yu-jin *, the victim, was forced to resign and move out of the house after a former colleague posted secret photos along with popular items including home and office addresses.

“There were men who wanted to get in touch with me at the church my parents attended. . . and there were men who sent me [messages] sex. There were also men who came to my house and worked, ”he said.

The researchers also said that apart from stigma and discrimination, suicide was the most common cause of death.

“I’m so scared of my future,” said Oh Soo-jin *, the victim. “It should always be on someone else’s computer. . .[I thought]’I want this to stop’ but this problem will not go away. . . So if this ends, I want to give up my life. ”

Despite sexual offenses being a global problem, a report released Wednesday by HRW from the US also highlighted minor sanctions in South Korea and the insecurity of those who have been sexually abused.

“Law enforcement officials – most of them men – often seem to misunderstand, or acknowledge, that they are serious crimes. . . Survivors are forced to deal with these cases for the rest of their lives without little legal help, “Barr said.

Despite public awareness and changes in the law, the number of sexual offenses involving illegal photography continues.

Last year, student investigators and police unveiled a private chat room on a Telegraph program featuring photos of child abuse. The case was viewed by 260,000 people, according to a report from the Korea Cyber ​​Sexual Violence Response Center.

According to the Women’s Human Rights Institute of Korea, the number of lawsuits related to the illegal photography and sharing of photographs and videos was about 7,000 last year, 70% from 2019, indicating a report effort.

But a number of cases go unpunished. Prosecutors dropped 44% of digital sex offenses in 2019, while nearly 80% of those found guilty of photographing without a license received a fine, a fine or a combination of these, by 2020, HRW said.

Last year, a Korean court rejected an American request that a convicted felon be sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating child protection laws in South Korea.

The government has been criticized for inability to address gender inequalities, which experts say promotes digital sex offenders.

An army officer committed suicide last month after being raped by a male partner and the military tried to cover up the crime. His death sparked a public outcry, forcing Lee Seong-yong, a military major, to resign.

Although they want to take strong action following the big stick #MeToo cases involving K-pop stars and senior politicians, little has been done to end violence against women in ancient South Korea.

The country ranked 102 out of 156 in the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report, which has significant differences between men and women in economic matters and access to any high-level economic opportunity.

According to HRW, South Korean women work four times as much as unpaid work and earn less than 32.5%.

“The root causes of sexuality in South Korea are welcomed by the dangerous perceptions of women and girls that the government must urgently address,” Barr said.

* Names have been changed

If you are concerned about anything in this regard and need help, you can reach Lifeline Korea at 1588-9191. In the UK, the Samaritans are at 116 123. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US is at 1-800-273-8255.

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