Statistically, 62 percent of offenders of reported sexual assault cases within universities are students. This was announced by the Korean Ministry of Education on Oct. 22. Accordingly, the low participation rate of online sexual assault prevention education falling below 50 percent has been identified as the problem.
Ewha’s student participation in online sexual assault prevention education is even lower. In the official papers at Higher Education in Korea, only 13 percent of undergraduates have completed watching the prevention education video.
Other methods to raise awareness on the subject are restricted due to the curent COVID-19 pandemic. Baek In-hye from the Human Rights Center of Ewha has shared that a variety of annual programs managed by the center in the form of seminars and events concerning sexual assault prevention has been unable to proceed.
Baek shared how the Human Rights Center is responding to the difficult situation.
“As the number of students we have to cover is in the thousands, it is inevitable that we rely on online education,” Baek said. “We are constantly sending notifications via emails to remind students on the prevention videos. Also, we are aiming to open courses in collaboration with other related tracks.”
The educational videos uploaded on Cyber Campus consists of clarification of ideas such as sexual agreement and cyber sexual assault, and prevention of taking part in the sex industry directly and indirectly as an onlooker.
Other than videos, the Human Rights Center distributes pamphlets in Korean and English that defines sexual assault and explains how to deal with situations when one has become a victim.
Concerning the content of the educational video, club members of Talk of Our Sexuality, Think of Our Sexuality (T.O.S) shared what they feel should be further included.
Hwang A-hyun, a sophomore majoring in Nursing, currently the president of T.O.S first mentioned what she thinks most impacts the increasing number of sexual assault cases. The social atmosphere which she explains as the attitude of people that exempts the fault of the offenders focuses on the victim instead should be the prioritized subject of the education according to Hwang.
“Not only should the education clarify the boundaries of criminal activity, but it should also include content that questions ethics for the students to better raise their gender sensitivity,” Hwang said.
Choi Soo-hyun who is a freshman of Division of Nursing and a new member of T.O.S added the under-advertisement of numerous prevention programs has effects as well.
“There are not many students who regularly check their email,” Hwang said.
Both Hwang and Choi mentioned making use of Cyber Campus messages would be effective as it has become mandatory for all students to use the platform due to school's policy in online classes.
Furthermore, similar to how Lab Safety Education requires students to participate in a quiz after watching the video, Choi mentioned that having the students take a test on the content of the sexual assault prevention program can assure that everyone pays attention.
Lastly, they shared ideas on how to increase the participation of fellow students. Hwang asserted that the current situation where everyone is better acquainted with online communication should be utilized. She explained hashtag events and challenges via social media platforms that many students use can nurture more attention. Choi, as a freshman who experienced online entrance ceremonies, believed live online concerts can replace seminar programs.