In 2006, a school official from a hearing-impaired school in Gwangju, South Korea, was convicted of raping a thirteen year old student. Now for a crime like this, you’d expect a punishment such as life in prison or even the death penalty. So what was the sentence for this man?
One year in prison.
How can this be? Rape itself is already a heinous crime, but the rape of a child is disgusting. Add the fact that the child was disabled makes this crime even more sickening. South Korean laws regarding sex crimes have always been very lenient. Many people who are convicted end up walking free or having very minimal punishments.
A new film from South Korea has finally put this issue to the forefront of South Korea’s consciences. Dogani, entitled Silenced for American audiences (also called The Crucible), is a film based on the events at the school. The movie stars Gong Yoo, whom you might recognize from the Korean drama, Coffee Prince.
Response to the film have been overwhelmingly positive. Nearly ten percent of all South Koreans have seen the film, and the numbers are increasing. The film has inspired a movement to re-examine South Korea’s legal system.
Sex crime statistics from South Korea are absolutely horrific. Only 24% of those who are convicted of sex crimes serve any jail time. In 2009, only 41% of reported sex crimes were even prosecuted.
“Although South Korea has been more developed, there are still many barbaric things that happen,” remarked the director, Hwang Dong Hyeok. After many years of having sex crimes basically sweeped under the rug in South Korea, it’s nice to finally have a movie that illustrates the incompetence of some aspects of the law.
CJ Entertainment also reached out to Amped Asia to ask us to help promote a non-profit that is raising money for the victims. By purchasing a “Break the Silence” charity tee, you can help give money to the victims of the film. Get all that information at timelessbrand.net.
And make sure to check out Silence in select American theaters starting on November 4th.