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Gov't extends special reporting period for military sexual harassment

All News 11:34 June 16, 2021

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- The defense ministry extended a special reporting period for sexual violence cases in the military for two weeks amid an ongoing probe into the death of a sexually abused noncommissioned officer, officials said Wednesday.

The ministry launched the two-week campaign earlier this month to find and protect victims who have not been able to report their sufferings. The move came after intense criticism of the military for its failure to protect the female Air Force master sergeant who took her own life last month after sexual harassment by a colleague in March.

During the period set to continue through June 30, service members who suffered or witnessed sexual abuse can report it via a phone call, email or an anonymous bulletin board on a defense ministry website, according to the ministry.

"We will do our best to protect victims and to revamp the barracks culture to prevent any such cases from going unreported," a ministry official said.

Military prosecutors have conducted an extensive probe into the deceased officer case focusing on what led her to take her own life. The bereaved family accused the military of failing to properly protect the victim despite her repeated appeals and instead trying to cover up the case.

A service member mourns at a memorial altar on June 11, 2021, for a noncommissioned officer who took her own life after being sexually harassed by a colleague. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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