SEOUL, Mar. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of sexual abuse cases has been sharply increasing in South Korean schools, data showed Sunday, reflecting the urgency to come up with viable measures to protect victims.
According to data compiled by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, there were 385 reported cases of sexual abuse in Seoul schools in 2016, up 74.2 percent from 221 in 2013.
Experts said the actual number of cases could be higher, considering the research only includes cases reported by victims or other acquaintances that are being formally investigated.
The nationwide data showed the number of sexual assault cases at schools jumped a whopping 171.9 percent to 2,387 cases in 2016 from four years earlier.
Local experts said the government needs to come up with measures to protect students from such abuses, as victims of sexual abuse are more likely to commit suicide.
According to a research paper issued by the Korean Academy of Social Welfare, 16.2 percent of the 1,019 middle and high school students surveyed experienced sexual abuse, with 63.5 percent of them considering taking their own lives. 36.4 percent of students with no experience of sexual abuse considered suicide.
Teachers are also victims of sexual abuses at schools.
Separate data compiled by the Ministry of Education showed 112 cases of sexual harassment against teachers in 2016, a sharp increase from 80 posted in 2014.