Prosecutors vow to deal sternly with domestic violence

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- The prosecution said Monday that it has set forth tougher guidelines for dealing with suspects in domestic violence in line with the government's efforts to eradicate the country's four major "social ills."

President Park Geun-hye defines the four ills as sexual violence, school violence, domestic violence and substandard food.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office (SPO) said that suspects booked for battering their spouses more than two times over the past three years, in principle, will be detained for questioning.

"We have come up with countermeasures after judging that light punishment against domestic violence leads to more sex crimes and school violence, which eventually threatens public safety," an SPO official said.

The same rule will be applied to those accused of wielding lethal weapons against their spouses or children, the SPO said.

Also, prosecutors will request that the court issues orders that criminals convicted of domestic crimes be subject to counseling in order to prevent a second conviction and help victims of domestic abuse, it added.

These measures come as the nation has experienced a sharp rise in domestic violence cases last year after years of a steady decline.

Police arrested 8,762 criminals for domestic violence across the nation in 2012, up from 6,848 in 2011, according to government tallies.

Government data showed 15.3 percent of married women in South Korea were victims of domestic abuse in 2010, which is more than five times higher than 3 percent both for Britain (2007 figure) and Japan (2004 figure).

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