There’s an issue that isn’t being publicized compared to its actual seriousness. “Dating violence” is a problem occurring more than most people think, happening in various forms and degrees. Starting from non-physical verbal abuse, dating violence encompasses a vast variety of force exerted towards his/her lover. Counting cases undocumented by the media, it is indeed an issue of great frequency. In fact, the number of people arrested for practicing dating violence in the year 2016 alone was a shocking 8,367. This number is equal to 23 people every day. Although it is also true more than half of the total 8,367 cases were committed by an habitual offender, the number is still too big to be excused as trivial fights inside a relationship. Thus, it is urgent we recognize dating violence as an obvious “crime.”
According to the research carried out by the Korea Women’s Hot Line in the second-half of the year 2016, 61.6% of the total female respondents admitted having experienced dating violence during a dating relationship. The ratio may seem too far-fetched, but in fact, dating violence is not only limited to physical forms. It also includes other forms of force as well, such as restraint/verbal/economic/emotional/sexual violence. For example, the research showed that 62.6% of the total respondents experienced damage from restraint, and sexual, verbal, or physical violence followed respectively by 48.8%, 45.9% and 18.5%. Restraint violence comes from the obsession to monitor and control every movement of his/her dating partner. But since such behavior can easily be fabricated as a sign of intense affection, it is not commonly perceived as a kind of violence. A noticeable fact here is that it is not only women who are victimized by such dating violence, as men are also exposed to force, especially verbal, and in worse cases, even physical.
Still, it is true women are susceptible to dating violence in greater numbers and of severer degrees compared to men. But one thing to keep in mind is that it also hints to the undeniable fact and problem that both men and women can suffer from dating violence, no matter what and how. Therefore, there needs to be an effective solution that can bring about the quantitative decrease of such issues. This would be to first call for the social recognition of dating violence as “crimes,” not just mere quarrels between men and women.
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