Dig up the truthGuardians of former secretary of the late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon claimed that he had molested her for years despite repeated pleas to stop. The revelations from the victim disclosed in a press conference held immediately after a public funeral held on Monday were shocking. She was harassed by Park for years, even after she moved to another office. Up until the Mayor’s death, she received lewd texts and photos from him and was summoned to his private bedroom in his office. She sought help, but the city government ignored her pleas. This is a typical act of sexual violence perpetrated by a higher power.
Kim Hye-jung, deputy director of the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, read a letter written by the survivor. “I wanted my rights judged by the law and a sincere apology from the offender. I finally found the courage to file the complaint, and while I had been answering police questioning overnight, the person who had violated my dignity chose to end his life. How am I supposed to go on living? I just wish my family and my life could one day return to normal.” Her words reflect the anxieties and fears of living with the trauma of enduring sexual abuse.
The attack on the victim led by Park’s supporters has gone beyond reason. Her personal life was hunted down, and pictures of unrelated females are being circulated on cyberspace. Some are accusing the victim of framing Mayor Park. The victim has turned into the wrongdoer.
One posting on a leftist community site went as far as comparing Park’s case with Korea’s most revered war hero Admiral Yi Sun-shin who had slept with multiple slaves. Two female lawmakers of left-wing Justice Party came under attack by liberals after they publicly declared that they wouldn’t visit the mourning altar for Park. The controversy has worsened due to condoning or encouragement by ruling party lawmakers and progressive figures.
The truth should be investigated. But Mayor Park has removed the chance of exploring the truth by killing himself. Comments advocating for Park by calling him “a clean soul” or an “ideal boyfriend” will only add more injuries to the victim. The fact that his funeral was held publicly and elaborately has already pained her.
Her case has been terminated in legal respects due the death of the offender. But it should still be investigated. The lawyers of the victim have filed an additional complaint of secondary offenses committed by Park loyalists.
The victim’s voice must not go unheard to finally end the chain of sexual crimes by local government administrators.