SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — The government said Tuesday it will seek to toughen the criminal law to better prevent domestic violence after a horrendous murder case involving a divorced couple rocked the country last month.
The criminal procedure law will be revised to newly allow police forces to arrest domestic violence assailants on the spot, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said in its policy plans on the prevention of domestic violence jointly released with the justice and home affairs ministries, as well as the national police agency.
Currently, police forces dispatched to domestic violence scenes can only stop the assailants or separate them from their victims.
The government will also revamp the law concerning the punishment of domestic violence to allow the judiciary to imprison domestic violent assailants who disobey a court’s restraining order. Currently those who break such court orders to keep away from victims of violence are only subject to small fines.
The policy plans were reported to the Cabinet meeting Tuesday, with the ministries planning to start the law revision process in the very near future.
Under the plan, the police will also come up with a set of new guidelines to deal with domestic violence cases in a more preventive manner, while other ministries will launch a rehabilitation program for domestic violence victims.
“The latest plans will end the era where inhumane violence within the frame of family was justified for the sake of ‘retaining a family’ and proactively protect the human rights of the victims by separating them from their assailants,” Gender Equality Minister Jin Sun-mee said.
Last month, a 49-year-old man surnamed Kim stabbed his former wife to death in her apartment building in western Seoul.
The couple divorced four years ago after Kim habitually assaulted his wife and daughters. The police failed to stop the murder even though, after the divorce, he continued to harass his former wife by stalking her and repeatedly saying he would kill her.