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Men admit to being Me Too victims of abuse

Mar 24,2018
Korea’s Me Too movement has been snowballing as more women share their experiences with sexual assault, excavating deep, dark secrets never told before.

And now men are coming out with their own stories of being sexually maltreated by other men.

On May 10, a Facebook user wrote an anonymous post on an online board for students at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, saying that in high school he was nicknamed “male prostitute” due to his petite physique, and was habitually harassed by four classmates.

“I wonder why I was the target,” he wrote, “why so many people called me by that nickname. Maybe it was because I was short and physically weak, and appeared to be good prey.”

The writer, who admitted to being 24-years-old but did not confirm that he was a Kyungpook National University student, said four of his classmates “bit, licked and sucked me like animals.” “They forced me to touch a certain area on their bodies, and a certain part of my body also couldn’t escape from their touch.”

Identifying the four perpetrators by the letters A, B, C and D, the writer wrote, “A spun me around like I was some kind of a fitness equipment, B pulled out his penis from his pants during class and forced me to touch it, C slapped me in the cheek when he was bored and D sucked my armpits and twisted my nipples.”

Last month, a man who identified himself as a worker in the local theater industry wrote on Facebook that a professor groped his penis in 2014 after a drinking get-together. When the man reported the incident to the school, the professor was expelled and forced to apologize to him - but did so with rage. “The perpetrator was confident, and the victim had to keep his head low,” he wrote.

According to the Korean Women’s Development Institute, 1,212 men in Korea reported some kind of a sexual assault by physical contact in 2016, including rape, up from 1,066 in 2014.

Korean men doing the two-year compulsory military service are hardly exceptions. Ko Young-sang, an attorney specializing in sex crimes in Seoul, said he receives at least one new complaint every week of sexual assault in the military, despite the fact that punishment under military law tends to be far more rigorous. “They happen so frequently,” said Ko. “It’s hard to raise the issue there because military culture is so exclusive and the perpetrators are usually the victim’s superiors in rank.”

BY BAEK KYUNG-SEO [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]