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South Korea mulls insurance against bullying, domestic abuse

SEOUL — South Korea was planning subsidized insurance against bullying and domestic abuse, two of the "four social evils" labeled as priorities by Prime Minister Park Geun Hye, news reports said.

The policies would also cover the other two evils of sexual assault and food adulteration, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance was quoted as saying Wednesday by Korea Realtime, a blog on the Wall Street Journal's website.

"The main purpose of the policies is to compensate for both the financial and mental damage suffered by crime victims," a spokesman was quoted as saying by The Korea Times in an earlier report.

Park listed the four evils as priorities during her 2012 election campaign.

Violence is a source of growing social concern in South Korea. More than 77,000 people reported rape, sexual assault or harassment in 2012, and at least 139,000 contacted domestic abuse help groups, according to the WSJ blog.

In a 2013 survey, nearly 2 per cent of the nation's students said they were victims of bullying, the blog said, adding that Hyundai had not yet finalized the details of the insurance.

Hyundai was to sell the policies, subsidized by national government, to local authorities and schools, who would pass on coverage to individuals with a focus on "the weak and vulnerable," The Korea Times report said.

"The insurance policies will be provided for free to those in the low-income bracket and adolescents without parents," the report quoted a Financial Services Commission official as saying.

Others could buy the insurance for 10,000 won ($9.30) to 20,000 won, the official said.
 

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