South Korea’s Dating Abuse Crime Rate Reaches Peak In 2024

It has tripled since 2020.

Content Warning

This article includes descriptions of sexual assault and violence that may disturb some readers.

A shocking SBS news report revealed that the dating abuse crime rate in South Korea peaked in 2024.

Dating abuse, also known as dating violence, is defined to be “when someone a person is seeing romantically harms them in some way, whether it is physically, sexually, emotionally, or all three” by the U.S. Office on Women’s Health.

Picture is for illustrative purposes only. | Newis

The SBS news segment revealed that as of 2024, between January to April, South Korea has received over 25,967 police reports of dating abuse.


According to a NEWSIS report covering the South Korean National Police Agency data, there were 13,939 reports in 2023—a spike of over 55% since 8,951 in 2020.

Experts explained the shocking increase in numbers as South Koreans became more aware of what constitutes dating abuse and more inclined to make police reports.

Picture is for illustrative purposes only. | Yonhap

Unfortunately, the penalization of those reported remains minimal. In 2024, only 4,395 were arrested. A mere 2% of those arrested have actually been detained and prosecuted.

Between 2019 and 2024, over 50,000 cases were reported to the police, but 2.21% were detained and prosecuted.


68.4% of the 4,395 arrested in 2024 were on the charges of assault. 19% were for ‘other,’ while 9.2% were for confinement and/or threatening, and 3.3% were for rape. The 4,395 arrested cases do not include murder.


Even those detained and prosecuted have faced sentencing criticized to be “far too lenient.” Following the flood of news about victims abused by their spouses and partners, South Koreans are voicing for amendments in the laws applicable to dating abuse and domestic violence.

Screenshot 2024-06-09 at 1.24.15 PM
| @SBS뉴스/YouTube
  • “Bring back the death penalty… It’s time to start executing some of these criminals. Who’s going to bring justice to the victims and their families? Do not trust the judges.”
  • “South Korean judges are ruining the country…”
  • “4,000 arrests already…? The law needs to be changed immediately.”
  • “4,000 arrests?! How is it a normal society where dating means risking lives? NAVER publishes at least one article a day about women getting killed. How many more women will need to lose their lives? Is the goal to wipe out the female population?”
  • “It’s because these criminals don’t see women as their equal humans. So when the women want to break up, they get upset—enough to kill. Those men don’t know what real love is. They saw their romantic relationship as more of an ownership. That’s why date abuse keeps happening. Korea needs to fix the overall understanding of what it means to ‘date’ and work on the hate that’s rampant in the country.”
  • “It would be better for the younger criminals in their 20s to spend the rest of their lives in jail.”
  • “Want to solve the plummeting birth rates? Solve this problem first. How are women supposed to have babies if they’re getting murdered left and right even before getting pregnant?”

Read more about one of the most shocking cases of dating abuse that left Korea in shambles:

Korean Man Stabbed Girlfriend 190 Times, But The Court Ruled It Was “Impulsive”

Source: Newsis, Office on Women's Health, theqoo and SBS News

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