BANGKOK – Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Future Forward Party chief Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, took part in an activity that encourages men to stop using violent means against women at Lumpini Park on Saturday. The event was organized by the Friend of Women Foundation.
Around 30,000 women a year lodge police complaints about being physically assaulted, the Friends of Women Foundation says, urging males to stop committing violence against females.
Thanawadee Thajeen, the foundation’s director, spoke on Saturday at a seminar called “Men for Change”, aimed at preventing men from harming women.
The event was held at Lumpini Park in anticipation of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov 25.
She said females should have freedom and safety because they are also human. They should be free of threats, assault or sexual abuse, adding that men must respect women as individuals, partners or those playing a part in the country’s development.
Men must not hold prejudice or resort to violence of any kind against women, she noted.
Authorities, she said, must also stringently enforce alcohol sales laws because it has been found that alcohol induces males to assault or sexually abuse women, particularly at night when the highest number of attacks are reported.
About 70% of the assailants were those close to the abused women, she noted.
According to Ms Thanawadee, police should focus more on preventive approaches, including inviting the parties in question to settle disagreements, and coming up with measures to control male behaviour and prevent men from hurting women.
She said officers only tend to step in once assaults have happened.
Jade Donavanik, a law lecturer at Siam University, said more campaigns must be developed to raise awareness among men to stop harming females and children.
“This is not the problem of women alone.” Mr Jade said.
“The issue must be raised as a social problem, where all people must help end violence by giving assistance when encountering it.”
By Penchan Charoensuthipan