In September of last year, an act of violence in Busan, South Korea by four female middle school students inflicting their victim with severe wounds, not only called out the incompetence of South Korean police, but also brought the juvenile protection into question.
A group of girls dragged their thirteen-year-old schoolmate into a vacant alley by a factory, and brutalized her in numerous ways, among which they utilized pipes, liquor bottles, a chair, and lighted cigarettes. They then took pictures of the injured victim, and shared it via text message with their friends. A surveillance camera was able to record the assault, which lasted more than forty-five minutes. The victim was found unconscious by a passerby.
What had caused this brutality, as stated by the perpetrators, was due to the victim’s “bad attitude”. Two months before this happened, the victim had already once been beaten up by a group of students that included the same perpetrators because of accepting a phone call of a boy that one of them had a relationship with. The victim’s mother reported the incident afterwards, but the police at that time disregarded the issue.
After the second assault went viral, a petition to abolish the existing juvenile protection emerged over the internet. Since all girls that took part in this crime are still minors, their punishment will turn out more lenient, compared to what adults would have to face because they are protected under the existing juvenile law. This for many people is unacceptable, and they demand harsher consequences for the involved perpetrators and future perpetrators of the same age group.
I went through several sources, and each was slightly different from the other, but I believe this one has best put together the facts of the crime.
This event happened a while ago, I wanted to address it, nevertheless, to raise people’s attention. It is a matter that I believe needs to be further discussed. I feel like South Koreans do not want to make this a bigger issue but rather keep quiet about it, partially because of their conservatism. I am interested in people’s opinions on committed crimes by minors that go beyond shoplifting.