Issuance of 'a Handbook on the Report of Sexual Violence' in cooperation with the Journalists Association of Korea -
[Case 1. KO-Jongseok case in 2012]
Many inappropriate articles including suggestive reports that overlooked the human rights of the victim were produced due to excessive competition among the media taking advantage of social indignation and public opinion requesting severe punishment, which can induce secondary damage to the victims and their families. (exposure on the location of the victim's house, picture outside and inside of the home, wound of the victim, picture diary, etc.) → At the claim for damage against the media the court judged that "Even though the disclosed matters are included in the fair concerns of general public, such concerns cannot be above the personality interest of privacy and freedom of the victim. Further to the shooting through the window, the charge of housebreaking is acknowledged from the visions on the inside of room without the permission of the victim or victim family.
[Case 2 Sexual harassment against a student at a prominent college]
During the criminal suit against the accused, some media was taken over the investigation record from the family of the accused and reported it as if the claim of the dependent had been true (printed the statement or material of the persons concerned which were favorable for the dependent or spread false information by distorting the facts) → Was accused for defamation by the victim and received a criminal penalty of 10 million won. At the civil proceeding for damage, 30 million of compensation for damage was sentenced.
On November 6, 2014, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (Minister Kim Heejung) announced the production and distribution of a handbook on the reporting practice of sexual violence in cooperation with the Journalists Association of Korea (Chairperson PARK Jong-ryul). The handbook is a practical guide for the reporters who cover cases on sexual violence. It was published by the Women's Human Rights Commission of Korea (Commissioner KANG Wol-gu) with the consultation of legal circle, the press, and human rights campaigners. The handbook includes various cases, judicial precedents and proper examples of expression:
▲exposure on the identity of the victim ▲detailed report on the damage status of the victim ▲article on the privacy of the victim which is unrelated with the affair ▲articles providing misled impression that 'the victim is responsible for the sexual violence' ▲reports that describe the criminal method of the offenders in detail or lascivious and provocative reports ▲ reports that inculcate wrong idea on the cause of sexual violence or criminal intent among the people by overstressing abnormal sexuality or uncontrollable sexual desire ▲ articles that report one-sided claim of the offender as if it was true before the confirmation on the facts
Including precautions on interview with the victim and precautions in preparing articles, those details needed for the reporters from the coverage to draw up of report are listed in the manual for easy reference. It also contains the types of sexual violence that the reporters should know, related laws, and misconceptions and stereotypes in a series of questions and answers for easy understanding. The handbook is produced in small portable size. About 1,000 copies will be distributed to around 180 member broadcastings and newspapers of the Journalists Association of Korea.
Those reporters or people who want a soft file for the handbook can download it from the QR code at the back of the handbook, or the homepage of MOGEF (www.mogef.go.kr) or the Journalists Association of Korea (www.journalist.or.kr). From early December, it can be downloaded as an e-book through smartphone. With the distribution of the handbook, the Journalists Association is planning to have a seminar on the "Reporting Principle and Direction for the Cases on Sexual Violence" for the reporters during 27 ~ 28, November, 2014.
Chairperson PARK Jong-ryul expressed, "There are many cases that secondary damages are occurred during the report process, typically for the reports on sexual violence. This handbook is produced through in-depth discussion to prevent such damage. Attentions and utilization by the reporters will be highly appreciated."
MOGEF Minister Kim Heejung expressed, "What makes the victim of sexual violence stand up again is the 'Sympathy and Support.' The valuable media that feels the pain of the victim, supports their restoration and listens to their resentment is our hope."