| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
ㅇ Institutionalized the operation of the initiative within the governance system
- The establishment of Sunflower Centers (Integrated Support Centers for Sexual Assault Victims) was stipulated for sustainability. A multilateral governance system was institutionalized that allows the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, local governments (in 16 cities and provinces), the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Justice and hospitals to cooperate for the establishment and operation of the Centers.
ㅇ A victim-oriented medical and legal support system
- Sunflower Center is the only organization in Korea where medical treatment and forensic evidence collection of sexual assault victims can be done simultaneously. This solved the limitations of the existing public services that provided only partial services.
- Establishment of the Centers inside hospitals enabled long-term psychotherapy as well as emergency services for the victims.
- Professional services are promptly offered to the victims. This facilitates the investigation and criminal punishment of the perpetrators through scientific evidence collection using emergency kits along with the assistance of 135 female law enforcement officers who are on stand-by at the Centers nationwide.
- The legal basis has enabled the provision of consistent quality services nationwide and free medical, nursing and accompanying services.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The establishment of Sunflower Centers was led by the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family. It is carried out and managed under the collective agreement between the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, local governments, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Justice and medical institutions (hospitals).
ㅇ Effort of the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family to actively assist sexual assault victims
- The Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, as the lead Ministry dealing with support policy for sexual assault victims, has carried out the establishment of the Centers to implement a victim-oriented policy and meet the needs of staff who directly contact and assist the victims, such as building a response system dedicated to child victims of sexual violence.
- The Ministry of Gender Equality & Family has set out an operation manual for 37 Centers located in 16 cities and provinces to support their staff training, advisory group organization, performance assessment and consulting.
- 16 cities and provinces provide administrative support for the smooth execution of the initiative, including approving operational plans and providing a budget for the Centers.
- The Ministry of Justice has placed public defenders at the Centers to provide free legal aid for sexual assault victims. The National Police Agency has dispatched 135 female law enforcement officers to support the investigation process on sexual assault cases, such as recording statements of victims.
- Hospitals have assigned medical specialists, such as medical doctors, nurses and clinical psychologists, to provide victims with medical services whenever needed.
- Private protection facilities support the temporary protection of victims who are linked to the Centers.
ㅇ Sunflower Centers, located in 16 cities and provinces, support nearly 20,000 sexual assault victims per year.
- According to police data, 28,993 sexual offenses, including rape and sexual molestation, occurred in Korea in 2016. 1,083 victims, or 3.7% of the total victims, were children below the age of 13.
- In 2016, of the 28,993 victims of sexual assault, 19,134 (66%) victims received 269,164 services through 37 Centers nationwide (64,411 medical services, 30,363 psychological assistance, 83,659 counseling services, 46,911 services for investigation & legal process, 4,458 accompaniment services and 39,362 information and referral services). An average of 14 services were provided per victim.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
ㅇ Organized a steering committee to design the victim support system which is both distinct from and effectively connected to existing services
- In response to the growing needs to reform the victim support system, a steering committee, composed of civil servants, professors and NGO activists, designed services that distinguished but also effectively connected with existing facilities.
ㅇ A long-term plan strategy to develop a new model
- The Ministry of Gender Equality & Family studied overseas institutions that are similar to the Sunflower Centers and provided the legal basis to establish them. As a result, the initiative was applied to the 2004 policy and budget in order to be carried out.
- Since the Sunflower Centers launched in May 2004 with counseling, medical treatment and psychotherapy to sexual assault victims under 13 years or intellectually disabled, the victim support model has gradually expanded. In 2005, the 24/7 Sunflower Center was established to strengthen the early response, such as emergency medicine for the victims including adults. In 2010, a Center integrating the advantages of both models was founded. As of now in 2017, 37 Centers are operated nationwide.
- To offer evidence-based services, an R&D Center was established in 2014. This R&D Center is staffed with full-time MD and PhD researchers to research on victims of sexual assault.
ㅇ Legal grounds to secure a foundation for the initiative
- The establishment of Sunflower Centers and their service delivery system were stipulated in the relevant Act in 2010, securing a foundation to continue the initiative. The initiative then expanded across the country and is included in the government’s national tasks to check its progress.
ㅇ Linking the government ministries and human resources in the private sector
- Since the initiative aims to provide sexual assault victims with all necessary, individually customized services in one place, it requires professionals from different sectors.
- These professionals include civil servants from the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, the Ministry of Justice and other government ministries, law enforcement officers, intermediary, nurses, clinical psychologists, and more.
- Professors, activists of local NGOs and parents of victim children joined the Center’s Steering Committee as members to provide advice and make decisions regarding Sunflower Center’s project plans and other major issues, enhancing the effectiveness in executing the initiative.
- Efforts were made to minimize blind spots in providing support by linking to related organizations, including 104 sexual assault counseling centers and 30 protection facilities for sexual assault victims.
ㅇ Stable financial management through matching funds from the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family and 16 cities and provinces, and self-pay medical institutions (hospitals)
- In 2013, the Ministry allocated a subsidy of KRW 15,467 million for the initiative’s budget
- In 2015, the amount of subsidy was increased from KRW 15,467 million to 20,782 million. This was used to support medical services (KRW 2,314 million), operation of the Centers (KRW 15,864 million), establishment of new Centers (KRW 1,007 million) and medical visit–companion services and care services (KRW 1,597 million).
- In 2016, a total subsidy amount of KRW 21,775 million was provided to support medical services (KRW 2,195 million), operation of the Centers (KRW 17,346 million), establishment of new Centers (KRW 707 million) and medical visit–companion services and care services (KRW 1,527 million).
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, the lead Ministry of the initiative, has set up a consolidated support service system for victims of sexual assault and has provided a budget for the initiative; the Ministry of Justice and National Police Agency have provided a workforce to help investigations of sexual assault cases and testimonies; and hospitals have provided sites for the Centers, medical workforce and professional medical services.
ㅇ The Ministry of Gender Equality & Family (MOGEF), as the lead Ministry, connects relevant agencies and coordinates resources
- The Women’s and Youth Rights Promotion Bureau of the MOGEF drew up a basic plan to develop a model for Sunflower Center by setting up the Promotion Committee for an exclusive organization for child sexual assault. The Bureau also provided a legal basis for the establishment and continued operation of the Centers; developed educational programs to improve the expertise of staff members of the Centers; and conducted the selection of the operating agency, assessment, and consulting of the Centers.
- Local governments offered matching funds to establish and operate Sunflower Center and approved and managed the project plan for the Centers.
- The National Police Agency dispatched 130 female law enforcement officers dedicated to sexual assault victims to Sunflower Centers in order to support (video) recording of statements and investigation for evidence collection. The Ministry of Justice provided statement assistance services to support sexual assault victims who have difficulties defending themselves.
- Hospitals stationed professionals, such as medical doctors and clinical psychologists, at the Centers to support medical treatments, medical diagnosis and psychological evaluation of victims.
- In addition, Korea Legal Aid Corporation, Korea Bar Association and Korea Rape Crisis Center provide free legal services for victims of sexual assault.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
ㅇ Reduced waiting time for services and increased service satisfaction
- Sunflower Centers have made it possible for victims to take prompt measures in the early stages of sexual assault cases. Before the Center, sexual assault victims could wait as long as 2 weeks to get medical service, assistance in police investigation or other crucial services. With the Center now providing all services to victims in one visit, their waiting time has been significantly reduced.
- According to a 2015 user satisfaction survey conducted among victims who used the Center’s services, the overall satisfaction with the services scored 4.46 out of 5.
ㅇ Improved early emergency response system and expanded victim-oriented services
- At Sunflower Centers, medical doctors such as pediatric psychiatrists, gynecologists and clinical psychologists, as well as law enforcement officers dedicated to sexual violence, are on stand-by to provide 24/7 services to allow victims to visit the Center whenever they need for necessary services.
- Emergency medical service, clinical treatment, legal aid and other specialized services are given to vulnerable groups, such as women, children and the disabled, free of charge to reduce the financial burden of victims from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- The number of services provided to sexual assault victims has increased every year, from 176,203 in 2013 to 238,127 in 2015 to 269,164 in 2016.
ㅇ Increased number of Centers and the budget for the initiative
- Since its first launch in 2004 to 2016, the number of Sunflower Centers around the nation has increased to 37. The total budget for the initiative to support sexual assault victims has almost doubled from KRW 18.7 billion in 2011 to KRW 34.6 billion in 2016.
ㅇ A positive change in social perception about sexual assault victims
- Sunflower Center’s consolidated support for investigations of sexual assault cases has minimized secondary victimization during the course of trial proceedings, and made it possible to secure scientific evidence with emergency kits while victims receive stable treatment to recover quickly.
- Through academic activities at the academic society or medical associations, medical specialists made efforts to emphasize why systematic services need to be provided to victims of sexual assault. This has brought about a change in the medical community’s perception about sexual assault victims, which was previously indifferent to the treatment for the victims.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
ㅇ Concerns about the sustainability
- To continue the initiative and supports, legitimate grounds were formed by including provisions for the establishment and operation of Sunflower Center in the Sexual Violence Prevention and Victims Protection Act in 2010 and by creating Protection Funds for Crime Victims.
ㅇ Similar functions as existing private centers
- We explained to the private centers that the Center’s support system has different, unique features and that the system works in conjunction with existing centers in a mutual, cooperative way. Private centers, NGO activists, or parents of the victims were appointed as members of the Center’s Steering Committee to oversee the management, creating a partner system between the Center and the private centers.
ㅇ Conflicts arising from collaboration among participants from various fields
- For Centers that gave up their operations due to deteriorating management and conflicts among staff from different fields, we consistently coordinated with staff to provide alternative hospitals. As for the Centers that could not conveniently provide services due to limited space, we provided additional operating expenses to improve the quality of services and maintain the support.
- A standardized manual for victim support was produced and distributed to 37 Sunflower Centers nationwide to define the roles and responsibilities of participating organizations and to offer consistent quality of services in both big cities and rural areas.
- In 2010, the Korea Support Center for Women and Children Victims of Violence began efforts to develop mutually cooperative relationships among staff. The efforts address any and all conflicts of interest among staff, providing training for the personnel involved in supporting sexual violence victims, programming for stress relief to prevent staff from experiencing burnout, workshops on victim support cases, meetings by each field, and consulting to help Sunflower Centers management and operations.