Sexual violence response manual distributed at schools for first time

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : Feb 28, 2019 - 14:46
  • Updated : Feb 28, 2019 - 18:10

A manual for handling sexual violence in school settings has been distributed across the country as part of efforts to prevent incidents and improve schools’ response, encouraging greater sensitivity toward victims, education authorities said Wednesday.

The distribution of the manual, the first of its kind here, follows a series of revelations by victims of sexual violence at schools in line with the ongoing #MeToo movement nationwide.

The manual outlines a five-point response to sexual harassment and sexual assault at schools, covering topics from how to protect victims from secondary damage to what measures to take against predators.

It also provides specific examples of sexual misconduct that can happen in school settings and the kinds of secondary damage victims can experience. 

Many of the victims, mostly female students, have said they were blamed for coming forward or being forced to understand or forgive predators after they accused teachers or fellow students of sexual abuse.

“This manual was made to thoroughly protect victims at schools and more systemically respond to (sexual violence) cases so that a culture of protecting human rights among members of the school (community) as well as gender sensitivity can take root,” the ministry said in a press release.

The nationwide #MeToo movement began in traditionally patriarchal South Korea early last year and quickly spread to schools, leading victims from some 65 schools to publicly speak out about sexual misconduct by peers and teachers.

In the latest revelation in January, a girl who attends an Incheon-based high school brought public attention to misogynistic comments by teachers via social media. 

According to the post, one teacher said to students that school uniforms are the most erotic outfits because they trigger one's vulgar imagination. Another teacher reportedly said that ugly girls should be killed and chopped into pieces.