Sexual Harassment in University
Sexual Harassment in University
  • Park Hui-jeong
  • 승인 2018.07.13 17:02
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Korea is embroiled with appalling revelations by women who have been sexually abused by men. This is the ‘Me Too movement.’ This movement started with a public prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun’s disclosure of sexual harassment from Ahn Tae-geun who was a senior Justice Ministry official at the time. Her disclosure has brought to light even more sexual misbehaviors that have happened in our country. Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun’s courageous coming out is encouraging many other sexual victims to divulge sexual harassment, particularly in the cultural and academic fields. This shows that the movement is now spreading at a much wider scale in our society.

The movements of ‘Me Too’ and ‘With You’ are sweeping across the country. Universities are no exception. That means students will not tolerate sexual misconduct in silence anymore. Undergraduates, graduate students, and professors can all commit sexual crimes. However, universities almost always keep silent about the sexual crimes that happen on campus, for they are in a closed culture that does not want such problems revealed outside the boundary of schools. The ‘Me Too’ movement focuses on anonymous or poorly documented accusations of sexual harassment. However, it is because we have no sophisticated system for reporting and prosecuting such crimes that is crucial to aid in preventing sexual violence and protecting the victims.

Since the 2000s, human rights centers and gender equality centers have been functioning in universities. However, there are three big problems that prevent the counseling centers from playing a proper role. First, regardless of the establishment of a dedicated agency, general counselors in schools are usually not trained enough to deal with sexual crimes. In many cases, counseling researchers, who also serve as psychological examiners and career counselors at a student counseling center, should take charge of handling sexual crimes. Second, we have little accessibility to the center. Universities should make a website and online counselling system. At the present state, there is no guidance for agent information on the homepage. Third, the qualification of counselors should be enhanced. Professional counseling requires long-term training or a qualification of a master’s degree or higher one. However, at our university, 52 of the counselors were contractors. The university’s average working period spans only 4.6 years. Because of such problems, sexual victims are suffering from the poor, unsystematic support.

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