St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin today hosted a group of women from South Korea who wanted to learn more about how to combat gender-based violence against women while promoting gender equality.
The Korean 12-member group included a member of the country’s National Assembly, a police officer, newspaper reporter, feminist activists and two translators.
After the meeting, Ranhee Song, General Secretary of the Korea Women’s Hotline, spoke through feminist activist and translator Yoonjeong Han when asked what was the most important thing she learned from the meeting with the county attorney.
“She said they learned many things,” Han translated. “The first thing that really impressed her is how Mark Rubin talked about all of the policy changes that were led by the voices of the women victims (of domestic violence) and how as an elected official he listened to them and actually applied the women’s voices to the policies.”
Rubin, Assistant St. Louis County Attorneys Rebekka Stumme and Vicky Wanta, Victim-Witness Director Patty Wheeler and Arrowhead Regional Corrections Chief Probation Officer Wally Kostich addressed the Korean women.
Han, an activist with the Domestic Violence Shelter in South Korea, requested the meeting to learn about the Duluth area’s coordinated community response to domestic violence.
Han said her group wanted to “gain a better understanding of the Duluth Model, internationally known to be one of the most effective models for eradicating domestic violence in practice.”
This is the 30-year anniversary of their shelter for victims of domestic violence in South Korea, Han said. They are now building a women’s center to support women surviving abuse and pursuing economic security.
Rubin said he was delighted to meet with the South Korean delegation.
“We are honored that they chose to visit us and learn what we and our partners have done in seeking justice for victims of domestic violence,” he said. “Sadly, domestic violence is a universal issue.”