Nearly 4 in 10 South Korean pro female athletes have experienced sexual harassment: survey

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More than 37 percent of female professional athletes in South Korea have experienced sexual harassment during their careers, a survey showed Tuesday.

According to a Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Professional Sports Association survey, 37.7 percent of female athletes in professional football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and golf said they have suffered some form of sexual harassment.

The survey was held from May to December last year with 927 people, including athletes, coaches and employees at professional sports clubs.

The survey showed 14.2 percent of those who work in the professional sports industry have experienced sexual harassment.

Among athletes, 37.7 percent of women and 5.8 percent of men said they have suffered sexual violence. In particular, 11.3 percent of the female athletes said they had experienced sexual harassment in the past 12 months.

By type of harassment, 12.7 percent said they suffered verbal or visual abuse, while 4.3 percent said they experienced physical abuse. More than 1 percent answered that they were hurt by harassment online.

Among the victims, only 4.4 percent said they reported their case to their superiors or authorities, while 65.9 percent said they decided to stay silent.

The survey showed that 35.9 percent of victims suffered sexual harassment from their coaching staff, while 34.4 percent experienced harassment from senior athletes.

Asked about where they suffered sexual harassment, 50.2 percent said at get-together dining or group outings, while 46.1 percent said at training facilities.

Based on the survey results, the sports ministry said it recommended that each pro sports governing body strengthen rules on sexual crimes and mete out lifetime bans to offenders.

The ministry said it will also establish a center to help sexual crime victims separate from the pro sports governing body’s own center. (Yonhap)

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