These days, the ‘Nth Room’ case is going viral in Korea. The operator of ‘Nth Room,’ nicknamed ‘God God,’ created eight rooms simply named after their ordinal numeral and uploaded sexually exploitative videos. He then handed over his seat to Kelly in February last year and disappeared. Since then, similar rooms have begun to appear continuously, and the ‘Doctor’s Room’ is one of them. Thousands of men have taken part in theses rooms and videotaped and released sex exploitation videos of young girls, including minors.
Another notorious crime is the ‘Dark Web’ case. From June 2015 to March 2018, Son Jung-woo ran ‘Welcome to Video’ on the ‘Dark Web’ site. ‘Dark Web’ can only be accessed using a particular web browser, and it is an Internet area designed to ensure anonymity as well as making it impossible to track IP addresses. Almost 20,000 videos, including sex exploits featuring a six-month-old infant, were stored on the server. Although Son Jung-woo was sentenced to one year and six months in prison in Korea, he was also indicted in the U.S. and is currently undergoing extradition proceedings.
There are numerous similar cases like the ‘Nth Room,’ and many perpetrators still remain in our society. Digital sexual assault continues to grow steadily, and people seem to be unaware of its seriousness. Digital sexual assault refers to sexual harassment conducted in cyberspace and media spaces where the victim’s body is filmed, distributed, threatened, and displayed without the consent of the victims.
Why does digital sexual assault keep happening? One of the leading causes of digital sexual assault is mental and cultural attitudes. Criminals have less guilt or remorse about sexual assault against women. They are immersed in the wrong culture of treating women as sexual objects. Also, our cultural attitudes toward the victims are a great blot on the record of society. Many Korean women experience sexual harassment at work, but when a woman raises her voice, she is often buried or fired socially. According to a survey conducted by the Korean Women Workers’ Association, 65 percent of victims said their jobs were damaged. It is not their fault that they cannot speak out even if they are sexually assaulted because of society’s criticism of the victims. According to prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun, “In a Korean society where truth is concealed, those who want to tell the truth should bet everything. It is a cruel society.” A society that has to bet everything to tell the truth must end. We need to renew our society.