By Seong Yoon Bae
On 17 July 2017, a shrill scream startled the passengers on the subway. Hong Sung-Kyun, a judge specializing in sexual crimes was caught red-handed while he was secretly taking videos with his smartphone. His phone was full of inappropriate pictures of a woman.
This incident shocked all Koreans. Everyone in Korea knows that the number of cries from hidden cameras is growing higher and higher.
New adult websites that contain illegal contents are appearing. Men are taking photos and videos in the public and upload them on “sora.net” which is infamous for illegal videos.
Hidden cameras are exploiting more and more female victims. The number of cases reported was 5 times higher compared to the last 3 years in Korea. The criminals include strangers, boyfriends, husbands or even ex-boyfriends of victims. They are able to put up the hidden cameras everywhere; motel, cafe, bedroom, closet, and, surprisingly, public toilets as well.
According to a statistic from Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, more than 6 out of 10 women in their 20s that are afraid of sexual crimes, especially small hidden cameras in public and at home.
These sex crimes that stem from hidden cameras are increasing rapidly and those videos are still on the internet. Why? The government remains as a spectator without coming out with any laws or solutions on hidden cameras. The Korean government and the media are just another offender as well. Korea is facing sexual discrimination as the government does not implement gender equality,
For instance, the disgusting criminal, Sung-Kyun only paid a fine and he didn’t even lose his job as a judge. Some victims of sexual crimes might still see him in court. What makes him different from the other criminals he meets at a trial?
Enormous number of victims cried for help. One of them had an interview with a journalist from Joinsnews. She is suffering because of her private videos on the internet and she doesn’t know who to suspect. She did everything she could do but no one was helpful: policeman, journalists, lawyers. The people who are responsible to protect the citizens don’t take these cases seriously. They expect her to erase every single video at her own expense.
Who are the victims, and why are they unprotected?
Company workers with skirts on, someone’s girlfriend or wife, students who are forced to wear tight or uncomfortable uniform. The common point is that all the victims are female.
Victims are not protected because women are not protected.
Hidden cameras are not the only case the government is ignoring. The government avoids to care about countless problems; toxic sanitary pads, immoderate demands to female students, dreadful treatment of pregnant woman and scurrilous denunciations of feminism movement.
Recently, few measures are coming out such as increasing the fines. But is that what the victims actually want? Is that what we want?
We want to stop the spread of our videos on the Internet.
We want to stop worrying when we walk on the street.
We want to stop getting nervous when someone comes closer in the subway.
We want a practical measures that would help us.
Protecting the criminals and hiding their information– we want to end this now.
If Korea is a country that practices gender equality, the treatments and the actions should be the same on any crimes. The government is sweeping the matter under the carpet by ignoring the criminal and act like it doesn’t matter. Victims are the people who have to be protected by the government, not the criminals.
- Joinsnews중앙일보, “몰카 피해 여성의 눈물 “몇 달째 수백만원 주고 영상 삭제” September 27, 2017, http://news.joins.com/article/21974828
- Joinsnews중앙일보, “’지하철 몰카’ 현직 판사 ‘감봉 4개월’ 징계 그친 이유는” December 27, 2017, http://news.joins.com/article/22238673
- Nocutnews노컷뉴스, “남친 휴대폰에 찍힌 제 몸, 정육점 고기 같았어요,” August 1, 2017, http://www.nocutnews.co.kr/news/4824499