Human Rights Watch: Sexual Violence in North Korea ‘Accepted as Part of Ordinary Life’

Sexual violence is so rampant in North Korea that it has become an accepted part of ordinary life, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) based on interviews with women from the North who have taken asylum in South Korea.

The New York-based NGO’s 86-page report, “‘You Cry at Night, but Don’t Know Why’: Sexual Violence Against Women in North Korea,” accuses North Korean officials of using whatever power or status they have to coerce women into agreeing to unwanted sexual contact.

Firsthand accounts by survivors describe men using their position of power to choose victims who then have no recourse other than to comply with demands for sex or other favors or face harsh consequences.

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