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(LEAD) Five of 1,000 Korean women are raped or sexually assaulted: poll
SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Yonhap) -- Five out of every 1,000 Korean women experience an attempted or completed rape every year, and the majority of their perpetrators are acquaintances, a government report indicated Tuesday.

   According to a door-to-door survey commissioned by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on 2,200 men and women, about 0.2 percent of female respondents said they had been raped during the year of 2009, and nearly 0.4 percent experienced an attempted rape.

   That figure -- 5.1 women out of every 1,000 -- was considerably higher than the combined rate of 0.2 percent -- 2.2 of 1,000 -- reported in the previous survey in 2007.

   Women with physical disabilities appeared to be more vulnerable to sexual abuse. The rate of attempted or completed rape cases was 0.7 percent among disabled women.

   Some 5.4 percent said they were victimized by verbal or physical sexual harassment, up from 3 percent.

   The rate of cases reported to police increased among rape victims to 12.3 percent from 7.1 percent and among victims of serious sexual harassment to 5.7 percent from 5.3 percent. The victimization rates were especially high among employed, single women between the ages of 19 and 35.

   As is customary, most of the perpetrators (81.2 percent) were known to the victims. Among the rape victims, 15.4 percent of their perpetrators were relatives.

   Three out of female respondents, 35.6 percent, said they live with fear of sexual assault in their ordinary lives.

   The survey also indicated a heightened level of consciousness of sex crimes. Those who said they could tolerate verbal or physical sexual harassment accounted for 12.5 percent, considerably down from 33 percent in the previous survey.

   The survey, conducted by the Yonsei University Graduate School of Social Welfare between August and October, asked 1,583 women and 617 men aged 19 or older. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.15 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

   In another survey that polled 3,800 households nationwide, one out of every six couples (16.7 percent) said they experienced physical violence from their spouses. The rate of spousal physical violence was considerably higher among North Korean defectors at 51.3 percent.

   But among families of international marriages, the violence rate was lower than the average. Some 13.4 percent of wives in such families said they were physically violated by their husbands.

   This survey, also commissioned by the gender equality ministry and conducted by Yonsei, had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.65 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent.

   hkim@yna.co.kr
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