You might have been assuming that things in 2020 could not get any worse since the outbreak of Coronavirus. However, the Nth Room sex scandal has once again put the world in shock after being uncovered in South Korea last week. Prime suspect Cho Ju-bin, together with 124 related parties, were arrested as for now.
Cho Ju-bin, aged 24, is believed to be the mastermind behind the crime, by running multiple member-only chatrooms which offer sexually explicit and even violent content, on encrypted messaging app ‘Telegram’. More than 70 victims, including 16 minors, were lured and blackmailed into taking and sharing these sexual images and videos in the chatrooms.
Currently the South Korean government has identified approximately 260,000 registered accounts. It is noted that some members were paying as much as 1.5 million won (or US$1,200) just for gaining access to the extorted content. Given the seriousness and scale of the incident, over 2.6 million people have signed a petition, urging the government to disclose the identity of the rest of the members who once have been in the chatrooms. President Moon has also weighed in and called on the police to conduct thorough investigation regarding the case.
Shortly after the public outcry, the Chinese government on the other hand has carried out similar actions. SCMP reported that the authorities have kicked off an inspection on the child pornography websites in the nation.
We are tracking down tips that reflect sexual assault of minors, and if there are websites or personnel in China, there will be punishment according to the law,” stated the Chinese National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications on an online post.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, statistics from the Social Welfare Department suggested that the total number of newly reported sexual violence cases had been increasing in the previous years. Among which, cases involving female victims had greatly outnumbered than those involving the male-counterparts, showing sex crimes of all types are not rare in the society.
So what can you do if you are facing a potential sexual harassment or even abuse in reality?
Take care of your online privacy
As most of the perpetrators will make use of the personal information, such as name, gender and home address; to threaten the victims and blackmailed them into taking the sexual images and videos. Therefore, it is a good practice to check your privacy settings on social media regularly and stay alert when clicking unknown hyperlinks, and even accessing to public wi-fi. You should also be cautious when applying and committing to any job opportunities, including modelling and photo-shooting, which promise an abnormally high paid.
Be aware of hidden cameras
Moving offline, hidden cameras are popular tools used as by criminals to identify their targets. And these spy-cams could be embedded in places such as hotel rooms and workplace settings, or even in everyday objects as ordinary as a pen, clock or remote control. Check out the video below to see how to detect hidden cameras and protect yourself.
Seek help / Report the situation
Lastly, if you have witnessed a suspected sexual assault or violence case by any chance, it is recommended to report to local authority for proper handling. If you have experienced the situation, it is also important to know that you can seek help from family, friends, and professional parties such as social workers.