As technology has developed, the dangers facing women have developed too.
🐤 : I want to live in that generation
🐔 : Why?
🐤 : There’s no smartphones so I think it seems more fun. And less dangerous
When my daughter who was born in the year 2000 said this to me while watching a TV show set in the 90’s I realised that she had a point. I was naïve to think that the world would get better, get safer with time. The hope that the development of technology would take humans, and women, into a world without gender discrimination has been shattered.
This is because the online space has become a huge playground for men that use women's bodies to make money. They, who regard women as sex toys rather than equals in a relationships, and a society that tolerates a culture that considers women as a tool of pleasure are threatening the safe and happy lives of women
We can only grasp the extent of digital sexual violence when we understand the reality of the huge online market where women’s bodies are treated as play things.
What is Digital Sexual Violence?
According to police statistics related to digital sex crimes by the Korea Women's Policy Institute, more than 80% of the victims were women and more than 94% of the suspects were men.
The rate of digital sexual violence per 100,000 people increased 8.8 times from about 1.6 cases in 2007 to 14.4 cases in 2018, which when compared to an increase rate of 1.7 times for non-digital sex crimes demonstrates the sky-rocketing significance of this issue. Looking back at the living environment of teenagers during the online classes of Covid-19’s 2020, it is not difficult to predict that the rate of digital sexual violence has increased even more.
Forms of Digital Violence
😈 : I’ve got footage from a women’s changing room. Leave a comment if you want to see~ 😈 : Looking for someone who can photoshop this picture of my girlfriend
The act of filming another person's body or personal video without consent is called illegal filming. Let's use the term 'illegal filming' instead of 'spy cams' which is largely considered a joke or prank. Using deepfake technology to combine a victim's photos with sexual videos and exposing their personal information such as school or company name, can leave irreparable scars.
* A person who photographs a person's body against their will in a way that may cause sexual desire or shame using a camera or other mechanical devices with similar functions shall be punished by imprisonment for up to seven years or a fine of no more than 50 million won.
- Article 14 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (photographing using a camera, etc.)
😈 : (sent a photo) Watch this in private! 😈 : I’ll share some pictures I took with my ex-girlfriend
It is also digital sexual violence to upload to a website, pornographic site, SNS, etc. or otherwise distribute images/videos in group chat rooms without the consent of all parties. Even if the consent for filming was obtained at the time, distributing it without the consent of the victim in the future is also a crime that should be punished severely by the law.
* If damaging videos are distributed (sold, leased, provided, or publicly displayed or screened) without the consent of the victim, offenders will be sentenced to up to five years in prison or up to 50 million won in fines, and up to seven years in prison if they are distributed for profit.
- Article 14-2 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (distribution, etc. of false videos)
😈 : If you don’t get back together with me, I’m going to release this picture online! 😈 : It’s their fault for taking these kinds of pictures in the first place *insults*
It is also a digital sex crime to commit sexual violence using illegal film/photographs and personal information, or to sympathize with and participate in posts by commenting or contacting. Threatening to distribute a damaging video to family or acquaintances can be punished even if there was no actual distribution.
* Threatening another with illegally filmed footage etc. is punishable by at least one year in prison, or if the victim is forced to do something they don’t want to, or that interferes with the exercise of their rights (without obligation) by such threat, the perpetrator shall be sentenced to at least three years in prison.
- Article 14-3 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (threatening or forcing using filmed materials)
😈 : Looking to buy nudes. Making an offer~ 😈 : Who wants to see the contents of my golden hard drive?
It is a digital sex crime to distribute, aid, cooperate with, or consume non-consensual distributed photographs by viewing, storing, or sharing them for commercial purposes.
* The possession, purchase, storage, and viewing of illegally filmed materials shall be punished by imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to 30 million won.
- Article 14 (4) of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act
Characteristics of Digital Sexual Violence
- One victim but countless perpetrators
In a survey conducted by the Korea Press Foundation in 2019, more than 30% of the respondents stated that while filming, distributing, and sharing sexual exploitation was a crime, they did not believe it was a crime to watch it. Strict judicial and social punishment is required so that all who view these videos/images can understand that their gaze itself causes severe stigma and fatal damage to the victims.
- Never ending fear
Even if deleted, the continued consumption and distribution of digital sexual exploitation by moving the site puts the victim in a pit of endless pain. For those who post the videos of victims who have been pushed to suicide under the heading of ‘posthumous work’… they can’t even be considered human.
- A huge industrial structure that makes money off of women’s bodies
Since there is already a structure that makes money for many people through the exploitation of women and children’s bodies, fundamental measures need to be taken to prevent victim's pain from leading to the perpetrator's profits.
In order for the new era and advanced technology to be a positive force, the world needs to be based on a principle of "by humans", "for humans." Why don't you use your imagination to consider how such a world would be possible?
- Let's understand the structural problems and damaging aspects of digital sexual violence, and recognize that the state and society should devise solutions to prevent more damage