Q & A
Here you can find frequently asked questions and answers about digital sex crimes and victim support services.
Let’s learn about digital sex crimes.
- What is a digital sex crime?
- 답변 Digital sex crime is a form of gender-based violence that occur both online and offline through the medium of a digital device or information technologies. By current laws, the acts of taking intimate images without consent, distributing intimate images without consent, threatening to distribute intimate images, and faking images without consent are considered sex crimes. While the current laws do not cover all forms of digital sex crime, we are gradually reducing blind spots through continued efforts to revise the laws.
- 질문 What are the types of digital sex crime and applicable laws?
디지털 성범죄의 유형과 적용 법률 테이블 Type of digital sex crime Applicable laws Sexual violence using images Taking intimate images without consent Article 14-1 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Taking images by using a camera, etc.) Distribution and redistribution of intimate images Articles 14-2 and 14-3 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Taking images by using a camera, etc.)
Article 44-7 of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc. (Prohibition of the distribution of illegal information, etc.)
Threatening to distribute intimate images Article 14-3 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Threaten and coercion using images, etc.)
Articles 283 (Threat and threat to ascendants) and 324 (coercion) of the Criminal Act
Faking and distributing sexual images Sections 1-3 of Article 14-2 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Distributing fabricated images) Possessing, purchasing, and storing illegal sexual images Article 14-4 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Taking images by using a camera, etc.) Distribution and consumption Article 44-7 of the Information and Communications Network Act (Prohibition of the distribution of illegal information, etc.)
Article 42 of the same law (Display on media products harmful to adolescents)
Article 22-3 of the Telecommunications Business Act (Technical measures of special-type value-added telecommunication service providers)
Article 22-5 of the same law (Prohibition of illegal images, etc. by value-added telecommunication service providers)
Article 22-6 of the same law (Fine on failure to abide by distribution prohibition measures)
Article 92 of the same law (Correction orders, etc.)
Article 96 of the same law (Punishments)
Article 104 of the same law (Fines)
Sexual violence against children
Sexual exploitation and grooming Article 11 of the Youth Protection Act (Production and distribution of the images of child/adolescent sexual abuse)
Article 12 of the same law (Selling and/or buying children and adolescents)
Article 13 of the same law (Buying sex from children and adolescents, etc.)
Article 14 of the same law (Coercion on children and adolescents, etc.)
Article 15-2 of the same law (Engaging with children and adolescents for the purpose of sexual exploitation)
Article 17-2 of the Child Welfare Act (Prohibited conducts)
Article 17-1-1 of the same law (Punishments)
Online sexual harassment Article 13 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act (Indecent acts using communications media)
Article 24 of the same law (Confidentiality on the private information of a victim)
Article 31-3 of the Youth Protection Act (Confidentiality)
Article 70 of the Information and Communications Network Act (Punishments)
Articles 307 (Defamation) and 311 (Insult) of the Criminal Act
The Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes (“the sexual violence punishment act”) [View the law]
The Act on the Protection of Children and Youth against Sex Offenses (“the Youth Protection Act”) [View the law]
The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc. (The Information and Communications Network Act) [View the law]
- 질문 Is it a crime just to download and/or watch the materials of digital sex crime (e.g. Images taken without consent and images distributed without consent)?
- 답변 In accordance with Article 14-4 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act, possessing, purchasing, storing, or watching the materials and/or copies of digital sex crime are punishable for up to three years in prison or up to 30 million won in fine. Downloading and watching such files is also prohibited and a criminal offense as with distribution of such files. Without banning the possession, purchase, storage, and viewing of such images, the distribution of non-consensual image cannot be stopped.
- 질문 I agreed to filming sex with my partner and the video was shared without my consent. Am I a victim of digital sex crime?
- 답변 It is a digital sex crime if the video was distributed without your consent. Your consent to filming does not assume consent to distribution. Anyone who distribute an image without the consent of the person depicted in the image, even though the image was taken with consent, can be punished by Article 14 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act.
- 질문 I’m a victim of digital sex crime. What should I do?
성범죄 피해 발생 시 연락 기관 테이블 Advocacy Center for Online Sexual Abuse Victims (A.C.O.S.A.V.) Initiate counseling by phone or by using the online counseling form
Phone counseling (24/7)
A.C.O.S.A.V. Phone Counseling (☏ 02-735-8994)
Go to Overview [link]
Go to Request Counseling [link]
Private organization Korea Cyber Sexual Violence Response Center Police Collect evidence materials and report to police [Go to the National Police Electronic Cybercrime Report and Management System (ECRM)] Korea Communications Standards Commission Report a digital sex crime to the Commission [Go to the KCSC digital sex crime deliberation request page]
- 질문 How is your center different from internet content removal services?
- 답변 A.C.O.S.A.V. is a public organization affiliated to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. We provide free image deletion service, as well as counseling and referral to legal and medical support services. We also work with related organizations, including the police and the Korea Communications Standards Commission, in order to better support victims. Our counseling service is offered based on the principle of confidentiality.
What kind of support can I receive from your center?
- 질문 What kind of support can I receive?
지원받을 수 있는 영역 안내 테이블 Counseling service Answering your questions / Providing information on our support services / Receiving requests for image deletion service and providing related information Image deletion service Deleting images used in the crime / Monitoring the status of distribution of images / Providing outcomes reports to each client after performing the image deletion service Referral service Monitoring the police investigation process and supporting clients with collecting evidence materials / Referring clients to medical and psychological counseling support services / Referring clients to free legal services
- 질문 Are all services free of charge?
- 답변 Yes, both counseling and image deletion services are free.
- 질문 Is everything kept confidential?
- 답변 Everything related to counseling, image deletion support, and other referral services is kept confidential. You can even use a nickname for counseling. You may need to use your real name if you pursue a legal process. We will inform you on this as we go along.
- 질문 What do I need to receive the image deletion service?
- 답변 After initiating counseling by phone or using the online counseling form, you need to submit information needed to identify materials to delete. They include URLs on which your images are posted, images (photos/videos) used in the offense, and/or search terms for the titles and content of the web posts that would make it easier to discover your images on the internet. And you need to submit a copy of your ID and a consent form for the deletion of images.
- 질문 Will my images get deleted immediately after my request for the deletion service is accepted?
- 답변 We start the image deletion service as soon as all the necessary information and documents have been submitted. The amount of time it takes to delete all the postings greatly varies by platform. We cooperate with other support organizations in order to delete them as fast as possible.
- 질문 Can I check how the deletion service for my images is progressing?
- 답변 We provide you with an outcomes report once per month for the three months since the beginning of the image deletion service. After the three months, we provide a yearly outcomes report and the final report upon the completion of the service.
- 질문 Can I continuously receive the service?
- 답변 There is no limit in the length of the image deletion service. It is basically provided for three years but it can be extended.
- 질문 I don’t know who the offender is. Can I still receive services from your center?
- 답변 Even if you don’t know who the offender is, we need some information that can help us to infer the offender (e.g. when the images were distributed and the ID used to post the images). As long as we obtain the materials needed to provide the image deletion service, we can provide you with counseling, the image deletion service, and other referral services.
- 질문 Do I have to turn the offender in?
- 답변 No. You don’t need to turn your offender in to receive services from us. If your offender is turned in, it is easier for us to provide you with support services.
- 질문 Is it possible to delete all of my images distributed on the internet?
- 답변 Depending on the nature of the images, web posts, and platforms, it may be difficult to completely delete all the distributed images. Even if all the distributed images have been deleted, there is a chance that they can be redistributed anytime. That is why it is necessary to continue monitoring.
What should I do in this case?
- 질문 It happened a long time ago. Can I still report it to the police?
- 답변 Due to the nature of digital sex crime, it is often not clear when it began. You need to check if the statute of limitation is still valid depending on the type of the crime and when it began. It may also be important to see if the location of the crime and offender can be specified. Even if the statute of limitation has been expired and you cannot report the case to the police, we can still help you with counseling and the image deletion service.
- 질문 He threatened that he would distribute my images if I report him to police. What should I do?
- 답변 According to Article 14-3 of the Sexual Violence Punishment Act, anyone who threatens others by using the images of digital sex crime or their copies can be punished for one year in prison or longer. You need to address it immediately because such threat often leads to further offense. Get help from support organizations, such as our center or other sexual violence counseling centers, to report to the police. Avoid meeting the offender in person and/or letting him know that you reported to the police.
- 질문 I was victimized by a family member and ran away from home. I have no place to go. What should I do?
- 답변 Women’s Hotline 1366 and other victim support organizations can refer you to a shelter. You can also receive legal and medical services for free of charge.
- 질문 I reported the offender and had all the distributed images deleted. But I just found that my images have been distributed again.
- 답변 Unfortunately, that is the nature of digital sex crime. Since it is mediated through cyberspace, it can be easily repeated. Our center provides victims with the same level of services as in their first victimization.