Amid the growing #MeToo movement, South Korea’s government is planning to increase prison sentences and the statute of limitations for sexual violence in the workplace.
The government’s plans include extending the statute of limitations, as well as the prison sentence, to 10 years for cases involving obtaining sex through abuse. For cases involving sexual harassment, the maximum sentence will increase to 5 years and the statute of limitations will increase to 7 years. Currently, the maximum prison sentence for criminal cases involving sex through abuse is 5 years. The statute of limitations is 7 years. And for cases involving sexual harassment, the current statute of limitations is 5 years and the maximum sentence is 2 years.
The government is also planning to actively pursue criminal cases against those who ignore, abet, or cover up sex-related crimes. Chief executives of private companies could also face jail time if they do not take disciplinary actions against sexual harassment cases.
Not only will the government be taking more action through law, but they will also be launching special groups to combat these issues. The culture and gender equality ministries also plan to operate a center for artists to report sexual assaults and receive legal support.
The minister of gender equality and family, Chung Hyun Back, will be in charge of a government task force that will pursue these newly announced plans.
“Exposing sexual harassment and violence cases is spreading like wildfire. The nation has fallen into great shock, with many coming to the realization that women can no longer be subject to such terrible crimes.”
— Chung Hyun Back