Go to contents

Research on the State of Domestic Violence by the Ministry of Gender Equality

Research on the State of Domestic Violence by the Ministry of Gender Equality

Posted February. 23, 2005 22:46,   


One out of six Korean couples experiences physical abuse by a spouse more than once a year according to a recent research.

The Ministry of Gender Equality (MOGE) released a survey showing that 15.7 percent of 6,156 respondents (3,071 men and 3,085 women) were physically abused by a spouse more than once during the past year. The research was conducted by Korea Gallup from September to December last year and was requested by the MOGE.

About half of the respondents were found to have physically abused their children, while one out of three inflicted mental violence on their parents.

It is the first nationwide research on domestic violence, including spousal abuse, at the governmental level.

With regard to physical violence by a spouse, cases of “battered by husband (12.1 percent)” outnumbered that of “battered by wife (3.6 percent).” In addition, “more serious violence,” such as kicking, beating by leather belts or bats, and threatening with a knife or other offensive weapons, was committed more by husbands (3.7 percent) than by wives (1.2 percent).

Couples with patricentric husbands (17.5 percent) experienced more spousal violence than others (9.1 percent). Likewise, patricentric families (21.7 percent) suffered more domestic violence than families with spousal equality (9.9 percent).

Forty-two point one percent experienced mental violence in quarrels, such as verbal abuse and threatening physical violence, while 7.1 percent were forced to engage in unwanted sex. A whopping 44.6 percent experienced physical, mental, or sexual abuse at least once.

A sense of inferiority to the spouse, social stress, and alcohol were found as factors that foster spousal violence.

However, only 11.8 percent of women reported realized domestic violence to the police. With regard to the reason for not reporting, 44.3 percent said they did not expect the police to be helpful, pointing out that more active engagement by the police was necessary.

Sixty-nine point two percent said that they have experienced violence inflicted upon their children, and half of them (51.9 percent) said they physically abused children more than once.

The research also revealed that parents’ childhood experience affects the rate of violence on children. People with experience of witnessing spousal violence of parents or being abused by parents during their childhood had higher rates of violence toward their children (men 53 percent, women 64.4 percent).

Jin-Kyeong Kim kjk9@donga.com