The Korean women’s movement, which is seen in both Western and non-Western countries as being exemplary in terms of women’s activism, experienced a dramatic change in its direction and strategy in the early 1990s. At the heart of the new approach was an increasing focus on sexual violence, which has had a huge impact on bringing women’s issues onto the public agenda in Korea. This book examines feminist practice in Korea by analyzing the experiences of the country’s first sexual assault center, the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center. Based on extensive original research, including interviews with activists and extensive participant observation, it explores why feminist activists in South Korea chose to organize around the issue of sexual violence, the strategies it used to do so, what impact the movement has made and what challenges it still faces to achieve its objectives.

chapter |8 pages


chapter |14 pages

The Korean anti-sexual violence movement

A newer women's movement

chapter |20 pages

Sexual assault centers as feminist practice

The establishment of the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center

chapter |18 pages

From silence to speaking out

Cultural change through discursive politics

chapter |17 pages

“Doing” the movement

Advocacy and legal change

chapter |18 pages

The renaissance of the women's movement

The institutionalization of feminist practice

chapter |11 pages

Conclusion: sustaining feminist practice

Critical reflections