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Program for Self Independence of Korean Domestic Violence Victims

Dr J Joh
Korea Medical Women’s Association

As director of Seoul branch of Korea YWCA, I have been fully involved in the operation of the Temporary Shelter for the victimized women of domestic violence in Seoul, Korea. I am writing this to brief you the status and a direction set to help the independence of the victimized women from my 4 years of experience for the operation of the Shelter. The rate of domestic violence in Korea was reported as 31.4% in 2001, and revealed relatively high proportion compare to other countries. The rate was increasing up to 37.3% (2004). In order to support their independence, we have offered them the various programs such as residential, nurturing, legal, education and medical supports. Often, the program staff accompanies them to the court and medical facility visits as needed As an OBGYN doctor, I serve the womens’ health checkup as the first procedure. The most common symptom is amenorhea (11.1%), vaginal spotting (7.4%) and irregular menstration (5.2%). Psychiatric examination indicated following cases. Victims had poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, deprevation, poor digestion and sleep disorder. The temporary shelter provides 6 months of protection, but the period is not sufficient for achieving independence. During this time we helps them get independence through various programs providing worksite in group and seeking for jobs. The problem of this program is difficulty to follow up due to disconnection after their leaving the shelter. We are to plan to train the future leaders out of the victimized women who will take care of others.

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