+ A

Troubled Teenager Saved by E-mail

Mar 06,2000

Last month an office worker, 23, identified only as “A” saved his troubled sister, 16, who suffered from mental and physical torment at a so-called ‘ticket Dabang.’ A ‘ticket dabang’ is a place where middle-aged men hang around and sometimes ask young female waitstaff for sexual favors. For A’s sister, an e-mail service was her saving grace.
At the end of last year the man heard that his runaway sister was working at a ticket dabang in a small town in the country.
“At first,I was really frightened by the thought that the owner of the place might take revenge on me,” said the brother. Thus, he did not dare contact the police; instead, he visited the Internet homepage of the Commission on Youth Protection (www.youth.go.kr.) at the end of January.
The brother first linked up with the site “Talking with the chairperson” and left a message asking for help. The commission immediately responded, saying, “Getting your sister out of that place is top priority. Please let us know where she is - the name of the dabang, the city, and the contact number. Any information you give us will be confidential.”
However, the whole situation caused the brother such mental anguish that he could not respond to the commission for ten days. The commission sent another e-mail and pursuaded him to answer saying, “We need to save your sister and root out employers who illegally hire minors. You need to file a report.”
Finally, the man sent an e-mail message with the address of the dabang. With the help of the police, the Commission on Youth Protection immediately raided the place and succeeded in sending the man’s sister and three other girls home. The owner of the dabang was charged with violations of the Youth Protection Law.
On March 5 the Commission chair said, “A lot of reports are being made via e-mail thse days. We are trying our best to solve the problems, but we need more reports from the public of youth in trouble.”

by Kang Kap-sang

e-메일로 구한 16살 동생

지난달 소위 티켓다방에서 온갖 고초를 겪던 여동생을 구해낸 회사원 A씨(23)에게 e-메일은 바로 ‘수호천사’였다.
A씨가 2년전 학교를 중퇴하고 가출한 여동생(16)이 지방 소도시 티켓 다방에서 혹사 당하고 있다는 소식을 접한 것은 지난해 말.
“나중에라도 업주의 보복이 있을지 모른다”는 생각에 경찰 신고조차 하지 못한 채 전전긍긍하던 A씨는 올1월말 청소년보호위원회의 인터넷 홈페이지(www.youth.go.kr)를 찾았다.
A씨는 홈페이지에 개설된 ‘위원장과의 대화’란에 접속,‘제발 도움 부탁드린다’는 e-메일을 보냈고 청소년보호위원회는 즉시 “여동생을 구해오는 것이 급선무니 다방 소재,연락처등을 알려달라.절대 비밀을 보장한다”고 회신했다.
그러나 A씨는 고민을 계속 했고 열흘간을 기다리던 청소년보호위원회는 “동생을 구하고 미성년자를 고용해 착취하는 악덕 업주들을 뿌리뽑는데 신고가 필요하다”는 e-메일을 다시보내 설득을 계속했다.
드디어 A씨는 지난달 다방 소재지를 적은 e-메일을 보냈고 경찰의 협조를 받은 청소년보호위원회가 곧장 문제의 다방을 급습했고 A씨의 동생 등 미성년자 3명은 가족품으로 돌아왔다.다방 업주가 청소년보호법 위반혐의로 구속된 것은 물론이다.
강지원(姜智遠)청소년보호위원장은 5일 “최근 e-메일을 통한 제보가 급증하고 있다”며 “최선을 다해 문제들을 해결하도록 노력하고 있는 만큼 더 많은 청소년유해환경 신고와 제보가 이어지길 바란다”고 말했다.