A 16-year-old student who had been gang-raped by four men attempted suicide by fleeing in front of a train at a railway crossing but was saved.
The girl was reportedly in severe distress due to the fact that the four suspects, aged 20 to 27, were free on parole and their relatives continued to harass her and her family.
Tuesday night, the girl attempted suicide in Muang district in Nakhon Ratchasima by running towards a railway crossing and into the route of a train. The bystanders managed to yank her to safety.
The police took her to a local station to calm her down before transferring her to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital for treatment.
The assault occurred on April 28. According to Thai media reports, the four suspects confessed during police interrogation, but they were not detained because, according to police, they posed no escape risk.
The superintendent of the Huai Thalaeng police station, Pol Col Sitthiphon Thimsungnern, stated that investigators filed charges and submitted their report to prosecutors in June. The girl and her family turned to the media and a non-governmental organisation for assistance after two months of silence.
The victim’s family visited the Huai Thalaeng police station on August 30 for an update on the case. Two days later, the family sought assistance from the social media advocate Kanthat Pongpaiboonvej, alias Kan Chompalang, who took them to see Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief.
A few days later, the suspects were eventually brought to court. The court granted their parole on a surety of 400,000 baht and ordered them to wear electronic monitoring devices despite opposition from the police and prosecutors. They were also commanded to maintain a minimum distance of one kilometer from the victim’s residence.
However, the girl was filled with dread because her alleged perpetrators lived in the same neighbourhood, according to a source with knowledge of the case. She sought treatment at a psychiatric hospital after relatives of the suspects allegedly intimidated her.
Allegedly, some relatives threatened to employ solicitors to sue her for embarrassing them. They allegedly also asked others to disseminate the word that she had been gang-raped. The girl felt embarrassed and dared not attend school, according to the source.
Pol Col Sitthiphon stated that he had ordered officers to confer with the suspects’ families. If the suspects did not cease their intimidation, the police would petition the court to revoke their parole.
Since she was 12 years old, the girl, a Mathayom 4 pupil at a school in Huai Thalaeng, has suffered from depression, but she has not consistently taken her medication. She reportedly attempted suicide on multiple occasions.
The provincial office of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security carried the girl to the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital for treatment before sending her home. She is currently under the protection of the Ministry of Justice’s Witness Protection Office.
Youth Suicide in Thailand
Youth suicide in Thailand is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including social, economic, cultural, and individual factors. In Thailand, as in many other countries, youth suicide has been a concern.
Some factors contributing to youth suicide in Thailand included:
- Mental Health Issues: Like in many parts of the world, mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors among young people.
- Academic Pressure: High academic expectations and pressure to excel in school can be a significant source of stress for Thai youth. This pressure can lead to feelings of hopelessness, especially when combined with competition and bullying.
- Social Isolation: Social isolation, loneliness, and a lack of social support can contribute to feelings of despair among young people.
- Cultural Stigma: In some cultures, there may be a stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues. This can discourage young people from seeking assistance when they need it.
- Economic Factors: Economic disparities and financial stress can also be contributing factors to youth suicide.
Efforts to address youth suicide in Thailand have included mental health awareness campaigns, increased access to mental health services, and suicide prevention programs. However, there is often more work to be done to tackle this complex issue effectively.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or mental health issues, it’s crucial to seek help from a mental health professional or a helpline immediately. In Thailand, you can contact the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 for assistance and support.