The Korea Herald


60% sexual violence support center heads are non-experts: lawmaker

Sexual violence support center chiefs’ majors include architecture, North Korean studies, video animation

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Oct. 12, 2021 - 13:57

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Over 60 percent of sex crime support centers are headed by those with no expertise in the field, the main opposition People Power Party’s Rep. Kim Byong-wook said, citing Ministry of Education data.

Of the 304 universities operating a support center for sexual violence, the lawmaker’s office on Tuesday said 185 were found to be led by people who did not major in subjects related to sexual damage consultation.

According to the data, the largest number of universities’ support centers, 42 of them, appointed people who majored in nursing or health as the chief of their sexual violence support center.

There were also schools who placed people who studied architecture, beauty, classical Chinese, music, North Korea and video animation in the head position of their sexual violence support center.

The lawmaker pointed out that experts have voiced concerns about nonprofessionals being in the head position at sexual violence support centers as it hinders offering proper counseling service or makes it difficult to appropriately react in case of sexual violence.

“It seems that schools which do not have majors related to counseling sexual harassment and assault are putting nonmajors or administrative staff as the center heads,” said Rep. Kim.

“For effective operation of counseling centers, it is necessary to invite outside experts who do not have interests with universities.”

As universities may face financial difficulties in inviting counseling experts from outside, the lawmaker added that the government should actively consider providing monetary support for universities to ensure that sexual violence support centers can be operated reliably.