Ewha Introduces Ways To Protect Oneself From Sexual Violence
Ewha Introduces Ways To Protect Oneself From Sexual Violence
  • 김주희
  • 승인 2003.06.04 00:00
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A female college student is on her way home after her usual tutoring job. A male passerby, walking from the opposite direction, reaches out his hands toward her breast. Instinctively, the female student covers her chest with her arms. His hands touch her wrist instead, but the student is in total shock, stares blankly back at the passerby as he goes on his way, pretending nothing has happened. Fearing he might return, she runs home.
This is just one of the different forms of sexual violence people are exposed to every day. Others hear about such cases. However, could they respond quickly and effectively if it actually happens to them?
On May 28 at the Student Union Building, as part of the Daedong Festival, Ewha"s Sexual Harassment Counseling Center propagated essential information on what to do in sexual abuse situations. The campaign was planned to approach students openly with problems of sexual violence. Volunteer campaign helpers distributed "rape whistles" and assisted Ewhaians in making "menstrual bracelets" to keep track of their ovulation period in order to be aware of a possible unwanted pregnancy if they are sexually abused.
According to the Sexual Harassment Counseling Center, the most important procedures when victimized by a sexual assault are to run away from the scene and to quickly call for help.
"You should always carry spare money to grab a cab in case of emergency, and also have at least ten phone numbers of people who can help installed in your cellular phone, including a fast dial for 112 so that you can make contact immediately," says researcher Kwon Soo-hyeon of the center.
Afterwards, victims are advised to visit a gynecologist before taking a shower and to take a"morning after pill" within 72 hours after the rape to avoid pregnancy. If there are any signs of bruising, taking a photo and filing it as evidence along with the clothing that was worn during the attack is crucial. It is then best to seek legal and professional help from counseling institutions.
According to law, sexual harassment by family members can be prosecuted within a year of the assault and assault by a stranger is subject to legal prosecution from three to 15 years, depending on the charges.
However, even if such procedures are advised by the counseling centers, victims fear to come out and talk of their problems. Kwon urges victims to have courage and seek help because it is the fastest way of recovery.
"Acknowledging oneself as a victim of sexual violence is the first step, even though most victims want to conceal the pain," she says, but adds, "Of course, it is also up to us, our society, to provide an environment where victims can speak up and easily find assistance and support."


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