Extra! Korea

April 28, 2009

Survey: 26 to 38% of men had beaten their wives last year

Filed under: crime, gender equality — extrakorea @ 11:11 pm

Men with college degrees are more prone to domestic violence than those without, a study suggests. The survey, conducted by a Catholic domestic violence help center in Daejeon together with Lee Seo-won, a professor of Yonsei University, shows that 25.8 percent of men without college degree and 37.7 percent of men with college degree surveyed had beaten their wives during the last year.

In general, 36.4 percent of men used violence against their wives since they were married, and 33 percent had beaten their wives during the last year. As many as 76 percent abused their wives verbally during the last year, the survey said.

[ snip ]

The survey was conducted of 466 married men and women over 20 living in Daejeon in last April and May.


In Korea, domestic violence is considered to be a personal affair. If people hear a violent domestic dispute next door, they’re not likely to call the police. Even if the police are called to the home, they’re likely to act very politely, as the husband yells at them, “This is none of your business!” I’ve lived for a few years in different apartments that I’ve rented, so I’ve heard the late-night screams on occasion. Still, even I was surprised at the high numbers (25.8% and 37.7%).

Prof. Lee [Seo-won, of Yonsei University] said, “The authorities should come up with concrete and effective countermeasures to prevent domestic violence.”

No kidding. But that would require a change in society-at-large. Some things in Korea change rapidly (e.g. new cell-phone models every year, each with more features than the last). Some things don’t (e.g. xenophobia).

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