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Counseling centers to help migrant women suffering domestic, sexual violence open

The Korea Times, Korea, 19 April 2019 - Support centers will open to provide counseling, medical and legal support and temporary shelter for migrant women who have suffered domestic violence or sexual assault, according to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Friday.

The ministry said it recently selected three institutes ― the Daegu and North Chungcheong provincial branches of the Woman Migrants Human Rights Center and Incheon Woman Line ― to offer aid to marriage migrant women or female migrant workers who are victims of violence.

"So far, counseling services have been available for violence victims at Danuri Helpline, the ministry-run call center for migrant women, as well as at domestic violence counseling centers," a ministry official said. "But those channels did not have enough professionals to deal with the violence issues. We hope the newly designated counseling centers will help the migrant women settled here."

The centers will provide counseling and translation services in the victims' languages. It will also offer medical and legal aid to protect the victims' rights and help them better cope with following processes such as lawsuits.

In addition to the three designated centers, the ministry plans to select two more in the second half of this year.

According to the National Human Rights Commission's 2017 survey of 920 marriage migrant women, 42.1 percent experienced domestic violence. But 36.1 percent, or 140 women, did not seek help. Reasons for not seeking help included not wanting others to know about the violence (35 people), not knowing who could help them (29) or believing that help from others would not solve the problem (29).


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