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While most people saw Chotiros Naksut’s partner as a well-regarded academic, she never knew when he was going to beat or choke her. It mostly happened in private, until the time he kicked her to the ground in the middle of a crowd on Khaosan Road because she was “talking too much.”

“That reason was just an excuse. If he felt like doing it, he was going to do it anyway,” the feminist writer said. “I never looked for help because I thought my problems were mine to solve. I regret that.”

Thailand already had one of the world’s highest rates of domestic violence before the pandemic which has led to a surge of incidents, according to public health groups. Yet, the majority of cases go unreported and victims untreated not only due to strong social stigma, but also systemic failures in providing aid – and justice.

“Most women I know don’t want to report it to the police, and many don’t even know where to start,” Bangkok-based British activist Emma Thomas said. “And I felt like the system to deal with victims here is so many steps behind.”

A decade after she was assaulted by a muay thai trainer, Thomas has dedicated herself to campaigning against gender-based violence in Thailand. She writes about sexual violence in the kingdom and publishes resources for victims at Under the Ropes

On the legal side, attorney Busayapa Srisompong five years ago founded a group called SHero that not only provides counseling but also legal advice and pro-bono legal assistance in some cases.

The limited resources have been strained by the pandemic. After the military takeover in 2014, it opened the national domestic violence hotline at 1300 up to calls for all social issues, and its been swamped by unrelated inquiries during the past year.

We polled these women to find out what resources are out there – and how they stack up for those born here or immigrants. Of the only seven organizations known to provide counselling and legal services, only a few offer them in English. Foreign nationals are encouraged to start with their embassies for help if it is available.

One Stop Crisis Center (OSCC)

How it can help: Emotional support counseling, legal advice to victims, medical treatment support 

Languages: Thai, English

Verdict: Established in 2013 as a hotline for domestic and family violence, this government hotline was opened up five years ago to calls about any and all social issues. While it has been overwhelmed by calls about government COVID relief programs, it is a good start for a full range of services including legal advice, counseling and treatment. There are branches nationwide.

Contact: Hotline 1300, 24/7

 

SHero Thailand

How it can help: Busayapa’s organization can provide emotional support counseling, legal advice and sometimes help victims on a pro-bono basis to prepare cases against their abusers. She said it cannot currently take on many more new cases at the time of publication.

Languages: Thai, English

Verdict: Though a small organization currently straining to keep up with cases, it is well-recommended. Thomas and Chotiros endorsed it based on their experiences. It has no call center.

Contact: [email protected] or on the web.

 

The Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation

How it can help: Emotional support counseling, legal advice

Languages: Thai

Verdict: Busayapa said this is a great place for survivors to get legal and emotional support. However, the foundation said it only offers services in Thai.

Contact: 02-513-2889, 9am to 3pm daily except public holidays, or [email protected] or online.

 

Pratthanadee Foundation

How it can help: Emotional support counseling, legal advice, career assistance and training for victims of violence.

Languages: Thai, English

Verdict: Chotiros said she has had a lot of good experiences working with this community of women who helped her recover from intimate partner violence. They provide multiple services but focus on helping those who endured domestic violence due to economic factors.

Contact: 02-331-4731, 9am to 6pm Sunday to Thursday, or [email protected] or website

 

Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand

How it can help: Emotional support counseling, legal advice, health advice and related services.

Languages: Thai

Verdict: As many LGBTs also suffer from domestic and partner violence as well as women, they can seek comfort from people in their community here, Emma said. The associations can be found in many provinces outside Bangkok as well.

Contact: 02-731-6533, 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and noon to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, or website

 

Pavena Foundation

How it can help: Legal counseling

Languages: Thai, English

Verdict: The Pavena Foundation was founded by Pavena Hongsakul to help victims of abuse, sexual violence, harassment, assault and human trafficking. Busayapa said it’s recommended for legal advice.

Contact: 02-577-0496, 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 24/7 hotline 1134 or [email protected]

 

Friends of Women

How it can help: Legal counseling, emotional support

Languages: Thai

Verdict: Founded for 30 years and has branches in four regions around Thailand, Friends of Women fields social workers able to provide legal advice and emotional support. Due to the small team, they focus more on assisting in primary stages before help refer cases to attorneys, shelters, and medical workers.  

Contact: 02-513-1001, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or [email protected] or website

 

Related

Thai police get rape response training, but not everyone thinks it’s a problem

This article, ‘I never asked for help. I regret it’: Where to get help for domestic abuse survivors in Bangkok, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.


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