SEOUL, Jun. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — Student unions from a number of universities in Seoul are ramping up efforts to tackle the growing problem of voyeurism that is plaguing university campuses around the country.
In the wake of the failure of universities and law enforcement to address the growing threat of voyeurism facing female students, student unions from a number of universities including Konkuk, Hanyang and Korea University are taking matters into their own hands to create a safe environment for students, particularly in university bathrooms, where victims are mostly likely to be targeted.
Konkuk University’s student union carried out an independent inspection in partnership with local female security officials at 53 bathrooms on campus, after which they made an announcement to everyone’s relief that no hidden cameras were found.
Hanyang University’s Student’s Association announced similar results after inspecting women’s bathrooms on campus earlier this month.
At Korea University however, the Bachelor of Arts student union found hidden cameras in three bathrooms along with sexually abusive graffiti during an inspection, which were removed and erased.
As the student union at Korea University plans to continue similar inspections to fend off possible threats of voyeurism, other university students are urging their student union to follow suit in fear of falling victim to the increasingly common type of sex crime where offenders typically use tiny hidden cameras to capture victims in a vulnerable state.
Stories like one from last Tuesday, in which a student at Myongji College uploaded a picture of CCTV footage depicting an individual suspected of voyeurism on Facebook, while urging those who recognized the person to report them, explain the frustration and worries being heard on university campuses.
Because of the complex nature of the internet, law enforcement and security experts warn it’s extremely difficult to remove content completely, once recordings go online.
Obtaining a hidden camera is extremely easy, as simply typing ‘hidden camera’ on major shopping malls like Amazon shows a wide selection of cameras that are smaller than 1 centimeter in diameter.
Professor Yun Kim Ji-young at Konkuk University’s Institute of Body Culture Study says the fact that students had to take action on their own acknowledges failure to tackle the issue on the part of authorities.
“In order to change the public perception (of the crime), we must call it ‘criminal voyeurism’, not just ‘hidden cameras’, and provide seminars and lectures to spread gender equality.”
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)