Korea has long been thought of as a very safe country. In fact, it’s one of the major selling points when promoting tourism and teaching English. That one can walk home at 3am without fear of getting mugged is very comforting. To know you can leave your home with little worry of your place being robbed is assuring, since sometimes the automatic doors don’t lock. However, Yonhap News released some new data about Korea’s crime stats that show this might no longer the case. Most alarming were the Korean sex crime statistics. (ARTICLE)
According to the article, a sexual offense was reported every 25 minutes. Given the abundance of sexual harassment and the stigma of reporting such crimes, the actual number of assaults is most likely several times greater. In H1 2013, 12,234 cases of sexual crimes were reported. Over 330,000 crimes in five major areas (murder, robbery, sexual assault, theft, and assault) were committed in H1. This averaged to one crime every 54 seconds, down slightly from the previous year.
Korea is a major player on the international stage and some “western” values are trickling into Korean society. One of which is a firm commitment to fight for one’s individual rights. Expect sex crime rates to continue to rise, not because they happen more often, but because those assaulted will no longer remain quiet and demand justice for the crimes committed against them.