#MeToo spreads across sports community in South Korea

Members of sports and civic groups hold a press conference in Seoul on Jan. 10, 2019, demanding actions to prevent sexual violence in the sports community. Olympic speed skating champion Shim Suk-hee filed a petition against her former coach Cho Jae-beom in December, accusing him of sexually assaulting her for years. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (UPI) — New sexual assault allegations emerged Monday in South Korea as a former Judo athlete accused her high school coach of sexual assault.

Former Judo athlete Shin Yu-yong revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by her high school coach from 2011 to 2015, in an interview with South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh, released on Monday.

The accusation is the latest in a series of sexual assault and harassment allegations against powerful figures amid South Korea’s #MeToo movement.

According to the Hankyoreh report, the 24-year-old Judo player sued the coach in March last year and submitted evidence to the police. She also asked her former colleagues and a female coach for testimony. However, they declined to testify, and the case has been pending without progress since then.

Shin said she decided to sue the coach when he tried to cajole her into keeping quiet with money. The coach tried to give her $4,500 to drop the lawsuit against him. He also forced her to remain silent during high school years and threatened to “end her Judo career.”

The case resurfaced after South Korea’s prominent short track speed skater Shim Suk-hee filed a complaint last week against her former coach over alleged sexual assault.

“I quit my Judo and joined the MeToo movement. But Shim Suk-hee, who’s currently on top of her career, bravely spoke out against sexual violence,” said Shin, in the Hankyoreh interview.

Shin said a lot of athletes are still afraid of reporting sexual abuse due to fear of damaging their career.

“A day has never passed without pain for me,” she said in the report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here