SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – According to the records of 1366, the nationwide emergency hotline for women, there were 289,032 cases of counseling provided to victims of violence last year, an 8.3 percent increase over 2016.
Counseling cases for familial violence, which increased by 15,000 year-on-year, were most frequent, comprising 62.4 percent of the total. Sexual violence and prostitution counseling cases numbered 21,470 and 3,405, respectively.
With the spike in dating violence last year, the number of women who dialed 1366 for counseling likewise rose. Along with online sexual violence (distribution of or threats to distribute sexual content), counseling cases of dating violence have roughly doubled every year since 2014.
Year by year from 2014 to 2017, the number of counseling cases for dating violence registered were 1,591, 2,096, 4,138 and 8,291.
At 80 percent, the vast majority of the counseling was conducted over the phone, with around 40,000 cases handled in-person by either women visiting the emergency center or counselors making house calls.
A total of 13,805 cases were handled via online communication, 33.1 percent more than in 2016.
A member of the Women’s Human Rights Institute of Korea said the increasing number of women seeking counseling every year was unfortunate, but the active use of the 1366 hotline as a “MeToo” medium for victims was encouraging.
The government announced on February 22 that it will consider establishing strict and fair processing standards for dating violence cases to ramp up penalties for offenders. It will also look to provide greater protection for victims, with the right for unmarried individuals to ask for restraining orders provided by familial violence law one of the proposals being considered.