Not safe to be a woman

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Not safe to be a woman

An 80-second closed-circuit television (CCTV) clip showing a man following a woman to her apartment and attempting a break-in went viral on social media and led eventually to his arrest. In the footage taken in an alley in Sillim-dong, Seoul, the man trailed the victim on her way home around 6.20 a.m. Tuesday. The video shows that as soon as she went into her flat, the man tried to force the door. The consequences could have been terrible if the woman had been just seconds late in closing and locking her door.

There were calls for stronger protection of women after the brutal attacks on women in Gangnam Station three years ago and Jeju Island a year ago. But our society remains unsafe for women if they cannot be entirely safe — even behind doors in their own homes.

The police were not reliable this time. The woman being pursued immediately called the police and asked the officers to check the CCVT. But she ventually had to secure the CCTV footage herself as the police did little until 12 hours after her report. The man was arrested for trying to break in to her apartment a day after the incident, but that was only after the suspect turned himself in because his face was exposed on social media.

Women’s groups have become outraged with law enforcement. On her social media page, Rep. Shim Sang-jung of the Justice Party claimed that all citizens suffer because women must live in anxiety as potential victims and males are suspected as a potential offenders as the law enforcement authorities don’t do their fair share. Before the police complain of a lack of legal grounds for investigations and arrests. The police must do better safeguarding public safety. Otherwise, women in this land would have to continue to live in fear.

JoongAng Sunday, June 1-2, Page 30
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