Disclosing Sexual Violence Perpetrators Cannot be Considered Defamation
Disclosing Sexual Violence Perpetrators Cannot be Considered Defamation
  • reported by Cho Lee Yeo-wool cognate@womennews.co.
  • 승인 2002.11.06 00:00
  • 수정 2013-07-12 16:27
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

"If a sexual violence case becomes known to outsiders in the process of the victim seeking help from those around her and women groups to solve her problems, this cannot be considered defamation as the victim did not intentionally defame the character of the violator." (Park Seon Young, Research Professor, College of Law, Seoul National University)

On October 22, the Women's Rights Committee of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society, the Committee for Countermeasures against Counter-Lawsuits by Perpetrators of Sexual Violence and the Committee to Deal with Libel Suits against the Anti-Sexual Violence Campaigns organized a forum titled 'The problem with libel suits by sexual violence perpetrators.' At the forum, Professor Park Seon Young revealed that in the recent string of counter-lawsuits filed by perpetrators for defamation, the defendants are not guilty.

As long as it can be proven that the actions taken by the victim, her friends and family, civic groups and the media to publicize the case bear 'public benefits,' factual truth' and 'appropriate grounds,' then the actions cannot be considered defamation of character. According to Professor Park, exposing the sexual violence crimes of influential people such as governors, professors and unionists bears sufficient 'public benefits' as such action becomes important material in criticizing or assessing the leaders of society.

Actions such as putting up wall posters on the campus or at the workplace to diagnose problems and search for solutions are also 'publicly beneficial,' since the relationship between the victim and perpetrator of sexual violence is a superior-subordinate or power relationship and the action was taken to point out a structural problem and establish healthy gender awareness. 

Furthermore, if a civic group intervenes in a sexual violence case or a media reports the case based on the victim's statement and the actual circumstances, they cannot be charged with defamation as they had 'appropriate grounds' to believe that the case was true, even if they did not have direct material evidence. Park emphasized, "In a situation where it is usually impossible to provide material evidence, the victim risks all sorts of censure and danger to reveal their case. Joining hands with such victims and putting their cases on the social agenda is the very reason civic groups and the media exist."

Regarding the case where a stalker filed a libel suit against his victim for publicizing the judge's decision on a women group's website, Park said, "The women group did not have any intention to slander the stalker, and it was not misappropriating another person's name, photograph or telephone number but simply posting an official document on its website. Thus the group cannot be guilty of 'cyber defamation.'"

Park went on to say, "The recent counter-lawsuits filed by perpetrators of sexual violence against the victims, civic groups or the media for defamation or false accusations must be suppressed, as they are filed with the bad intention of continuously harassing the victim in the name of law. Furthermore, the victims should be given compensation for being unjustly accused."

It follows that cases where professors facing disciplinary action in their universities or perpetrators found guilty by the courts file lawsuits against their victims, as well as the case where a poet filed a libel suit against The Women's News for criticizing the backward gender awareness of men in the literary circle, would all fall into the category of 'unjust accusations.'

기사가 마음에 드셨나요?

여성신문은 1988년 창간 이후 여성 인권 신장과 성평등 실현을 위해 노력해 온 국내 최초, 세계 유일의 여성 이슈 주간 정론지 입니다.
여성신문은 여성들의 더 나은 삶을 위해 여성의 '안전, 사회적 지위, 현명한 소비, 건강한 가족'의 영역에서 희망 콘텐츠를 발굴, 전파하고 있습니다.
저희 기사가 마음에 드셨다면 좋은 기사 후원하기를 해주세요.
여러분의 후원은 여성신문이 앞으로도 이 땅의 여성을 위해 활동 할 수 있도록 합니다.

여성신문 좋은 기사 후원하기

※ 소중한 후원금은 더 좋은 기사를 만드는데 쓰겠습니다.

삭제한 댓글은 다시 복구할 수 없습니다.
그래도 삭제하시겠습니까?
댓글 0
계정을 선택하시면 로그인·계정인증을 통해
댓글을 남기실 수 있습니다.
  • Telephone No : 02-318-9300
  • Fax : 02-752-0549
  • Help : 02-2036-9235
  • Address : Golden Bridge Bldg. 1th and 9th floor, 222, Chungjeongno 3(sam)-ga Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
  • Company name : Women's news Inc.
  • CEO : Hyo-Sun Kim
  • Business Registration No : 214-81-03304
  • Copyright © 1988 - 2023 womennews.co.kr. All rights reserved.