Photographs and video footage of a Cambodian woman being savagely beaten by her Chinese supervisor in a satellite city of Seoul were shared more than a thousand times on social media on Wednesday, prompting the Cambodian Embassy to find the woman and take her to the hospital.
The woman, identified by the embassy as Suong Sreynich, a 28-year-old from Takeo province, is seen in the videos lying on her side next to a refrigerator as a man with his back to the camera straddles her body, punching her repeatedly in the face and neck.
The incident took place at about midnight on Tuesday, said Long Dimanche, Cambodia’s ambassador to South Korea.
“I just met the victim and provided some money for a team from the embassy to take her to the hospital to have her head checked,” he said, adding that her injuries were severe, but not life-threatening.
Mr. Dimanche said the woman worked in an industrial area of Bucheon, a city about 25 km from Seoul in Gyeonggi province, but was unable to provide more details.
He said the embassy would issue a diplomatic note to the Gyeonggi police today, urging them to find and charge the perpetrator.
While Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken to calling Cambodia and South Korea “countries-in-law” in reference to some 10,000 Cambodian women married to South Korean men, reports of Cambodian workers and brides facing abuse in South Korea persist.
“It’s not common, but it keeps happening,” said Kimsruy Tang, a Cambodian graduate student in Seoul.
“Most are keeping silent,” he said, adding that he knew of only one case in South Korea in which a perpetrator received more than a fine for abusing a foreign worker.
In that case, which occurred in late 2014, a South Korean man drugged his pregnant Cambodian wife and rammed their car into an 8-ton truck in what police later decided was an attempt to cash in on her life insurance.
(Additional reporting by Aisha Down)