A Government survey regarding sexual assault awareness is currently going viral on Korean forums after exposing that 52.1% of men in the country believe sexual assault happens because of the victim’s outfit.
In 2022, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family conducted a Sexual Violence Safety Survey on a sample size of 10,000 men and women. All the participants were between the ages of 19 and 64. On June 21, the results of the survey were announced, and it had some netizens completely baffled.
In particular, responses about the very concept of sexual assault are the ones in the virtual limelight. 52.6% of the respondents agreed that “if a person is victimized by sexual violence, they will report it to the police immediately after the incident.” 46.1% of the participants agreed that “sexual violence occurs because of revealing clothes,” and 32.1% of them felt that “if the victim was intoxicated, they were also responsible.” 39.7% answered in favor of the assumption that “many people falsely report sexual assault for financial reasons, resentment, or revenge.” To the statement that “allowing kissing or fondling also means allowing sexual intercourse,” 31.9% of the responses said yes.
These numbers, when broken down according to the gender demographic of the sample set, revealed that male participants showed a higher response rate than female ones for all the questions. There was a high gap in the ratio for questions like “sexual violence is caused by revealing clothes” (52.1% of males, 39.7% females) and “allowing kissing means allowing sex” (37.2% of males and 26.4% of females). For other questions, like “Many people falsely report sexual assault for financial reasons, anger or retaliation” (43.4% males and 35.7% females) and “If the victim was intoxicated, they were also responsible” (male 36.2%, female 27.9%), the gap was smaller, but not significantly.
Netizens are not happy with the volume of responders who agree with various statements which indicated that sexual assault is partly the victim’s responsibility.
- “Their brains must be just for decoration.”
- “Hahahaha, what even is inside their heads?”
- “I can only sigh. Those who can’t control their desires are not humans, they’re animals.”
- “Wow, this is really something.”
- “’Sexual violence occurs because of clothing that is too revealing’ (52.1% male, 39.7% female).’ This is why people are getting re-victimized constantly, and the perpetrators are not getting punished properly.”
- “Sexual violence happens because the perpetrators are intolerant beasts…Why are you looking at the victims to find a reason?”
- “Is this real? It can’t be…”
- “What are they saying?”
- “And they say women have it easy in South Korea.”
- “I can only laugh…”
The survey also covered other areas of responses, including personal victimization by sexual assault and fear of sexual violence. 3.9% of the responders said they had experienced sexual violence, and 0.3% of them said they had been filmed illegally. Women in their 20s and 30s expressed a deep fear of sexual violence in the questionnaire. Questions like “fear of sexual violence while going out alone at night” (63.4% for women, 10.3% for men), “fear of strangers visiting when they’re alone at home” (52.9% for women,9.8% for men), and “fear of sexual assault when using taxis and public restrooms alone” (51.0% for women, 10.3% for men) offered great insight into how much the female and male perspective on the topic differ from each other.
This state-approved survey is conducted every three years to identify patterns of sexual violence and form relevant policies under the Article 4 of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Protection Act.