Domestic Violence Rate at 34 Percent According to Yonsei Prof's FindingsThree out of ten couples have or will have domestic violence in their households. Higher stress levels and drunk husbands were also found to be major factors in rising incidences of spousal abuse.
In March, professor Kim Chae-yob of Yonsei University's Social Welfare department presented his findings in a paper entitled 'The Actual and Present Conditions of violence in Korean families. The university forum on family violence was held at the Seoul Education Cultural & Theater Center with the support of the ministry of Health and Welfare.
According to the report, based on 1,523 surveys conducted in 1998, 34.1 percent of those polled saw or have experienced incidents of domestic violence, especially spousal abuse. This means that over three in ten have experienced violence in the home.
Prof. Kim's paper expanded these figures to national proportions, estimating that over 4 million couples have over the course of the year had bouts of domestic violence. He found that the amount of physical spousal abuse is high compared to U.S.(16.1 percent), Hong Kong(14.1 percent), Korean-American(18.8 percent) and Japanese(17 percent) figures. The professor's findings also indicated that husbands are more likely to instigate domestic violence (27.5 percent), while women started only 15.5 percent of the reported domestic conflicts. Wife battering saw alcohol and stress as the main contributing factors leading to abuse by husbands.
With regards to cases involving wife abuse, incidents not involving alcohol accounted for 22.7 percent of the total. However, with increasing amounts of liquor in the system, this rate jumps from 26.3 percent with husbands being slightly inebriated to very intoxicated men at 36.5 percent.
Fianlly, a definite correlation between stress and violence was noted with the incidence of wife abuse in direct relation to the stress the husband was experiencing, almost three times as much as that where stress was not a factor.
Prof. Kim said that "Abused women are more stressed, show aggressive behavior and exhibit classic signs of depression. Also children witnessing this violence within the home have strong tendencies in getting into more trouble."
by Kang Chan-su