South Korean performer DJ Soda has shared her past experiences of sexual assault.
Early abuse: The 35-year-old artist, whose real name is Hwang So-hee, disclosed in an Instagram post on Aug. 22, that she was raped by a robber when she was just 6 years old. According to DJ Soda, the event led her to develop selective mutism, a condition marked by an inability to speak in certain social situations.
“At that time, I lied to my parents and said that I almost got robbed but I didn’t open the door because I was afraid my parents would get hurt,” she wrote.
More sexual violence: DJ Soda also shared several instances of sexual attacks she experienced throughout her life, including one that involved a fellow DJ. The accused DJ would later trivialize the behavior as “jokes,” leaving her feeling isolated and helpless.
“I was sexually harassed and molested several times throughout my life, and I thought I had to hide it and live as if nothing had happened,” she said. “But now I don’t want to avoid or hide anymore. If I ignore this, someone else will inevitably become a victim.”
Recent attack: The revelation comes just weeks after she was groped and sexually harassed by fans while performing at the Osaka Music Circus Festival in Japan on Aug. 13. She later took to social media to condemn the incident, only to be faulted for wearing revealing clothes. Addressing the culture of victim-blaming that often surrounds such cases, DJ Soda questioned the tendency to hold victims accountable for their attire or behavior.
“No matter what clothes I wear, sexual harassment and assault cannot be justified,” she explained in a separate post
. “My body is mine, not someone else’s. I like to wear revealing clothes and I will continue to wear them.”
An update on the perpetrators: While DJ Soda initially worried about the potential fallout of her Osaka Music Circus Festival incident on her future work, the festival organizers pledged their support for her. According to Japanese media, two 20-year-old men had turned themselves in to the police in connection with the alleged sexual harassment at the event. Festival organizers also filed a criminal complaint against two men and a woman.