10:46 pm - 04/15/2012

Friend of Rapist Becomes Police Officer, Netizens Disgusted

Following the police failure in the handling of the Suwon Torso Murder Incident, another case has emerged in Miryang, a small town in Gyeongsang province, leading many netizens to suggest that the Korean police system needs to undergo serious reforms.

Since April 10th, the Miryang police station website has been overwhelmed by messages from enraged netizens after it was revealed that a high-school student involved with the “Miryang gang rape” case in 2004 has become a police officer there.

In the “Miryang gang rape” incident, which took place in Miryang city in 2004, two middle school students were gang raped repeatedly for about 12 months by a group of 44 (some unofficial estimates are as high as 80-90) high school students. Sadly, the police failed to protect the identity of the victims, used allegedly humiliating investigations techniques, and on several occasions were accused of insulting the victims and their families –– blaming them for the incident. Lastly, as many of the assailants were from rich influential local families, most of them got away with a warning and allegedly continue to live normal lives.

The public anger about the handling of the Miryang incident has resurfaced again, after it became clear that Hwang Seon-mi, a friend and a girlfriend of one of the Miryang gang members, had become a police officer at the local police station. The following image of a message sent by Hwang Seon-mi to her friend shortly after the incident has been making a splash on Korean internet.

[Translation of above]
Did it all get sorted out ok?
I’ve heard that apart from 3 people everyone came out fine…
Those girls were so ugly anyway…
Anyway, good work.

Responding to attacks from netizens, Hwang Seon-mi has posted an open apology saying that she regrets her past behavior. She also writes that it was just a mistake which she committed in her youth and asks for understanding. However, netizens do not believe the sincerity of this, especially since the emergence of the personal statement written by Hwang Seon-mi when applying for the post at the police station – has been made public:

I am a very honest and diligent person and I know myself well. I think about crime from the viewpoint of criminals too, and in case of sexual assault I am able to consider both – victim’s as well as criminal’s position and whether the victim did not walk around in a manner encouraging to be assaulted. So please choose me for this position. I can do some martial arts as well.

Source: koreabang
gigabytexx 16th-Apr-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
whether the victim did not walk around in a manner encouraging to be assaulted.
Pretty much a common viewpoint of people where I'm living.

I remember there was once a comedy show in my local TV, they discussed about rape cases. Person A says exactly like statement above, then person B said, "But people in western countries are also wearing 'triggering' clothes but the number of rape cases is still lower than our country!" (fyi, wearing a tanktop+hotpants around the mall for a girl can be considered as a slut in here).
Person A: "Well maybe they've seen too much people wearing that so they got used to it! Maybe our country should ban porn movies so the new generation won't get triggered to do one as well."
Person B: "But people in Japan are also have so much porns, prostitutions are legal and gravures displayed publicly but the number of rape cases are still lower than ours! In here, even grandmas who shop at the night market also got raped...... I wonder if appearance is the only big problem in here?"
Person A: "Then how about every women just stay in the house and not do anything.."

I was like :| wtf obviously 'appearance' isn't really the big issue. But in here there's a popular motto from a tv show, "Crime happens when there's a chance." and usually pretty much applied to the victims. ugh.

Edited at 2012-04-16 02:03 am (UTC)
cairistiona 16th-Apr-2012 11:12 am (UTC)
The thing is, people who blame the clothes the victim was wearing also do the same if she's not in a tanktop + hotpants. If she was wearing a hijab and full length dress the blamer will say she had it coming for easy access/something racially motivated. If she's wearing trousers or jeans they'll say it was too slutty and women should wear skirts, and god forbid she be wearing anything without sleeves or above the knee (with your tanktop and hotpants example). It's ridiculous but it happens. A woman will never be safe from victim blaming regarding her clothing no matter what she wears. She could wear a parka and they'll find some way of saying it was triggering clothing.
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