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  • 기사등록 2021-10-31 14:13:23
  • 수정 2021-10-31 19:49:22
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 Recently, the term “gaslighting” has often appeared in the news. If you search for gaslighting on portal sites, you can see endless related news stories. According to the news, gaslighting crimes are common in the military, entertainment, school, and other social environments. An article that a famous idol’s ex-girlfriend revealed that she had been gas lit by her ex-boyfriend became an issue, and a national petition that a military non-commissioned officer made his wife make a terrible choice through gaslighting drew attention. What are gaslighting crimes?


 Not long ago, an article on the Cheongwadae national petition board became a big issue. The title of the article is “I demand the punishment of a non-commissioned officer who killed my sister with gaslighting and domestic violence.” The petitioner pleaded that her younger sister died due to her husband’s continued gaslighting, and that she wanted to avenge her sister’s death. The petition has been signed by more than 236,000 people. The head of the government and the Blue House will directly respond to petitions signed by more than 200,000 people within 30 days. Many people are paying attention to what answers the government will give to the petition.


 In August, a woman who assaulted the daughter of a man she lived with was sentenced to five years in prison. The court said the abuse the accused inflicted on the victim was a gaslighting crime. The accused habitually assaulted the daughter of her partner. She also forced the girl to work at home. The violence committed by the accused against the victim caused public resentment. This is because it was an unprecedentedly cruel crime. As you can see, many of the crimes that have received attention in 2021 are gaslighting crimes.


 Gaslighting is a psychological term derived from the play “Gas Light”, which premiered in 1938. A couple appears in this play. The husband intentionally turns down the gas lamp in the house to make it dark. The wife says the house seems dark, but the husband refutes that it is not and he doubts her cognitive ability. There was no flaw with the wife’s ability, but with the husband’s persisting lies, the wife’s ability to judge becomes negatively altered. Gaslighting is a type of emotional violence. It can take place regardless of family, friends, co-workers, or lovers if there is a hierarchy. Gaslighting is more likely to occur in vertical cultures than horizontal cultures due to the relatively more susceptible nature of the weak to emotional violence. The victim of gaslighting lapses into a state of psychological anxiety and relies on the perpetrator. As the victim’s self-esteem decreases and the dependence on the perpetrator increases, the vicious cycle in which the perpetrator controls the victim more easily is repeated.


 Gaslighting usually involves crimes such as assault, intimidation, and physical control. However, there is no provision in Korea yet to legally define gaslighting as a crime. In the case discussed above, the defendant in her 50s, who was sentenced to prison, was charged with habitual assaults, not with gaslighting. If you suspect yourself to be a victim of this crime, it is recommended that you consult an expert before the damage gets worse. However, the most important thing is to have an attitude of reflecting on yourself because you could be gas lit by someone without knowing it. Since it is a form of abuse that may easily occur between intimate people without one being aware, you have to be very mindful of your actions.



76th Cub reporter·KIM HYEON A·hangitup@kyonggi.ac.kr


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