Prevalence and Trends in Domestic Violence in South Korea: Findings From National Surveys

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To examine trends in the prevalence of domestic violence since 1997, 1 year prior to the introduction of legislative countermeasures and accompanying services in South Korea, and to analyze what socio-demographic characteristics of perpetrators contribute to spousal violence and whether there were any changes in risk factors over time. This study used two sets of nationally representative household samples: married or cohabiting couples of 1,540 from the 1999 national survey and 3,269 from the 2010 National Survey of Domestic Violence. Frequency analysis was used to measure the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), and cross-tabulation, correlation, and logistic regression analyses were used to look for socio-demographic risk factors of spousal physical violence and patterns of change over time. The frequency analysis showed that the IPV prevalence dropped by approximately 50%, from 34.1% in 1999 to 16.5% in 2010, though it was still higher than many other countries. The cross-tabulation and logistic regression analyses suggested that men with low socio-demographic characteristics were generally more violent, though this tendency did not apply to women. Instead, younger women seemed to be more violent than older women. Last, different levels of household income were associated with different levels of IPV in 2010, but no linear trend was detected. In this study, IPV prevalence trends and risk factors of two different time periods were discussed to provide implications for tackling the IPV problem. Future countermeasures must build on understanding about men with low socio-demographic status and younger women, who were more violent in marital relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1554-1576
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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