In April, there was a controversy about the reputation of Hanyang University (HYU) on the Internet. It was not about the score allocation for college admission, which is a criteria when high school students apply to university for, nor the employment rate of students in HYU. It was about a sexual assault which occurred on campus of HYU. It came to a surprise to people inside both Seoul and ERICA Campus and outside of the campus.
What is more, this was not the first sexual assault, which occurred on campus, but it is still occurring. What should Hanyangians and the HYU do when this is happening?
The Ddalgichum Incident
A few months ago, there was an article on the Internet, about a high school student who had sexually harassed a female Hanyangian. It was a male high school student who had been studying in the library of the College of Law. While he was studying, he saw a female student sleeping face down on the desk. He then took a few pictures of the sleeping women and undid her bra. She woke up immediately, and looked around to find out who had undone her bra.
She spotted another male student who had earlier been looking at where she was sitting, and suspected that he was the one who had undone her bra. Then she told the library supervisors and also a senior of hers what had happened. The library supervisor then had called upon both the suspect and the senior of the victim to find out the whole story.
Ddalgichum posted the pictures on the Digital Camera Gallery with an explanation of the event. This was not the first time he had sexually abused someone. It was discovered that he had posted how he assaulted his sister, while she was asleep, and uploaded pictures in chorological order. The name of the incident comes from the nickname he would use on the website, which was Ddalgichum.
However, a few days after the first article was posted, it was revealed that the high school student, who had sexually assaulted the student of HYU turned out to be a student from HYU. This caused a serious problem on the Internet and also within the school community, and what is even worse is that this is not the first time that the HYU had sexual assault on campus.
The offender of the Ddalgichum incident was legally accused by the victim, and is currently under investigation. The procedure is expected to take about two to three months after which the school board will administer whichever punishment is appropriate.
The Reality of Sexual Violence on Campus
There are actually more students who have been the victims of on-school sexual crimes. One student suffered from sexual violence from professors.
According to her, "I had two professors who had sexually harrassed me. One kept on forcing me to dance with me during the school festival season. He also wanted me to sing for him and it was clearly against my will. The other one wanted me to come to school alone on Sunday to retake an exam. I went with a senior of mine, and he got outraged to see my company. I wonder what had happened to me if I went there alone." Like with these incidents, we can see that there are quite a number of sexual assaults that are not revealed to students.
According to the HYU's Center of Gender Equality (CGE), Most students just pass by with an incident without realizing that it was a sexual assault. "The reason for this is that many students tend to think positively even in cases of sexual assault. The college students are too naive. They feel upset by the act of the offender, but they just want to believe that it is an act of kindness. No sexual offender would commit sexual crimes with a smile on their face," said Kim Eun-kyung from the CGE.
One way to reduce the frequency of sexual harrassment cases might be to imposed strict punishment on those found guilty of sexual harrassment. In France, they decided to castrate a man who had committed sexual crime twice in a row. What should be done with sexual assault within the campus to prevent further sexual assault?
The policy for sexual assault within HYU totally depends on the victim's opinion. Currently, the victim does not want personal information of Ddalgichum to be revealed, and that is why people do not have any kind of precise information about him. Also, the incident sort of got bigger because it was reported by the public media, and the victim is just hoping for it to settle down. Through it seems too hasty to speak of such matters at this moment, for his punishment, although the commotion has to be talked about much later, I believe it is important that the victim and the assailant do not meet in any possible ways," said Jung Young-eun, the head of the General Student Union for female. She added, "That is more important than punishing is that we have to prevent ahead of happening these incidents. There should be more security around the girl? lounge, such as more CCTVs."
Today, many university students commit sexual crimes without realizing it happening. According to Kim, a Researcher at the CGE, "It is important for students to behave well and have responsibility for their own behaviors." She also mentioned that students need to learn how to say "No" to actions that they do not feel comfortable with. "Knowing how to refuses and to defend oneself, and be not afraid of reporting it to the organization that takes care of sexual assault is important," added Kim. She also emphasized that if a sexual abuse especially occurs while one is attending school, be sure to report it to the CGE.