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What is the rate of spouse abuse in South Korea?

Tweet: In South Korea 2/3 wives are physically abused by their husbands.
Verdict: Mostly False

By Shamma Eid
Zayed University journalism student

This tweet was relatively easy to fact-check. A 2009 report from the UN Refugee Agency states that approximately 30 percent of all married women in South Korea have experienced physical abuse. While that represents a large number, it’s far short of the 2/3 (66 percent) figure reported by InjusticeFacts.

Other credible sources provide roughly similar or lower numbers.

A 2009 study in the academic, peer-reviewed Journal of Family Violence states that almost one in three South Korean wives are physically abused. A Unicef publication from 2000 shows in a table that 38 percent of wives in South Korea were abused. The table said the data was “based on a survey of a random sample of women.”

The most recent research finds an even lower incidence of domestic violence. A joint study by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Migration Research and Training Centre (MRTC) reports state that 16.7 percent of wives are physically abused, roughly 1 in 6 women.

Of course, all of the data about Korean domestic violence is largely meaningless unless compared to other nations. A glance at the Unicef document (page 5) shows that many developed nations report domestic violence rates between 20 and 60 percent.

Our verdict

While the rate of domestic abuse in Korea is sizable, 1 out of 3 is far less than 2 out of 3. Therefore, we rate this InjusticeFacts tweet as Mostly False.


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