Analysis of the Prosecution's Statistics on Violence against Women (I): Focusing on Crimes of Domestic Violence
Type Occasional Period 2019
Manager Bok-soon Park Date 2020-03-03
Fiie 3. Analysis of the Prosecution's Statistics on Violence against Women(I).pdf ( 553.79 KB )



Analysis of the Prosecution's Statistics on Violence against Women (I): Focusing on Crimes of Domestic Violence


Bok-soon Park

Hae-sang Jeon

Soo-yeon Jung

Hyeon-seung Ko


Crimes of domestic violence do not have a single crime name, but whether any domestic abuse falls under crimes of domestic violence depends on the relationship between the offender and the victim and on the name of the crime. For this reason, it is difficult to identify the current state of domestic violence. Although the prosecution performs an important role in deciding whether it will indict or drop domestic violence as a criminal case, or forward it as home protection case, there is a severe lack of statistics published by the prosecution on domestic violence. Given this context, this study aims to classify domestic violence into types and suggest ways to improve the criteria for handling domestic violence cases. To this end, the study analyzes the results of domestic violence cases related to injury by reconstructing them by gender and relationship between the offender and the victim, using the data on the cases treated by the prosecution in 2017 and in 2018.


The results of the analysis include the following: an absolute majority of domestic violence cases indicate men's violence against women as shown in the distribution of the suspects by gender. Men account for 83.8% and women 16.2% of the suspects, while women make up 78.5% and men 21.3% of the victims. Domestic violence between partners accounts for 79.1% of the total domestic violence, while other domestic violence between relatives 20.9%. When motives for committing domestic violence are examined by dividing them into duties of living together, financial/support issues, sharing housework, lifestyles and values, reporting domestic violence, divorce, and other reasons, the result shows that motives related to lifestyles and values account for over half, or 52.2%. This figure makes up the largest portion of the classification of the total seven motives. When compared to the official statistics published in 2015, the proportion of the prosecution's treating the domestic violence cases as home protection cases remains at a similar level, overall, at 42.4% in 2017 and 2018 and 43.2% in 2015.


However, the indictment increased from 22.5% in 2015 to 30.1%, while the rate of non-prosecution decreased from 33.0% to 22.4%. When factors influencing the prosecution or non-prosecution are analyzed by employing the decision tree method, a data-mining technique, the result shows that in the case of the single crime name of injury, the factor with the biggest influence is "the victim's intention not to punish the perpetrator." When the victim expressed an intention not to punish the perpetrator, 62.6% of the cases were not indicted, while 25.7% were not prosecuted (74.3% indicted) when the victim did not express the intention.


These analyses of domestic violence cases present the following implications: It is important to make efforts to enhance the reliability of the prosecution's statistics on domestic violence and to apply a crime name that corresponds to the facts constituting an offence. In addition, the need for improving the criteria for handling domestic violence cases, issue by issue, has come to light. Although there are many options for handling domestic violence issues, it is necessary to make up for the criteria for processing the cases when applying each option. When deciding the criteria for handling the cases, "the victim's intention not to punish the perpetrator" is given a priority more than anything else.


However, it is necessary to improve criteria for handling cases at a high risk of recidivism 1) when the offender's tendency to relapse into criminal behavior is acknowledged, 2) when the offender used lethal weapons, or other dangerous objects, and 3) when the offender recommitted a crime within a certain period after convicted of domestic violence and sentenced to a protective disposition and higher punishment, so that the offender cannot be put on probation or suspended of indictment on the condition of receiving counseling. It is also necessary to seek the victim's genuine intention not to punish the offender and accordingly make a decision taking this into consideration rather than automatically applying the intention not to punish, because such intention is typically used for handling domestic violence cases.


Key words: domestic violence, crimes of domestic violence, typology of domestic violence, violence against women