Image: Hankyoreh 21's December 2021 issue. Credit: Hankyoreh 21.
The feature article for the December issue of Hankyoreh 21 한겨레21 reviewed the court opinions and media articles from 2016 to 2021 involving femicide, to analyze the characters of homicide cases in which a man killed a woman. In those five years, there were 500 cases of femicide reported through court opinions or media articles, with the actual numbers likely to be greater.
Over 80% of the victims were killed by either their boyfriend or spouse. Among the 427 cases reported in court opinions, 67% of the femicides occurred at home - significantly higher than the rate of general homicide occurring in a residence, which is 47%. Nearly half of the victims were in their 40s and 50s, contrary to the popular stereotype that young women were more likely to be victims of violence.
Femicide is notable for the brutality of its violence - in 31% of the femicide murder cases, the defendant received an enhanced sentence because of the “heinous method of crime” 잔혹한 범행수법, such as stabbing hundreds of times or spraying chemicals.
Also notable in femicide is the emotional state of the killing men. In 70% of the 427 court cases, the opinion refers to the defendants’ mood such as jealousy or feeling disrespected, especially when the women attempted to leave the relationship.