BANGKOK – According to a survey conducted by Safe Cities for Women Network (SCWN) in Thailand, one in three female commuters of public transport has experience with sexual harassments while using public transport.
The survey was conducted with 1500 women from September to October of last year with the result being made public to coincide with the International Women’s Day on Wednesday.
In survey it showed that one in three women who used public transport such as bus, motorcycle taxi, taxi, high-speed train or passenger van had encountered sexual harassments in different forms such as verbal, visual, eye or body contact.
According to the survey, buses ranked top with the highest incidence of sexual harassments, followed by motorcycle taxis, taxis, electric trains and passenger vans. When asked about the situations women felt most vulnerable to sexual harassments, 26 percent said they felt unsafe walking alone in soi; 25 percent said walking at night or before dawn; 16 percent said while riding alone in a taxi; 13.5 percent said riding on a bus, a passenger van or train.
The most common form of sexual harassments was verbal harassment, 26 percent; whistling, 18 percent; eye-contact, 18 percent; body contact, 17 percent; exhibitionism, 7 percent.
When asked about their reactive responses to sexual harassments, 38 percent said they kept silient, showed their dissent on their faces or distanced themselves from the abusers; 21 percent said they shouted or reprimanded their abusers; 16 percent said they were indifferent; 12 percent admitted that they took their cases to the police.
Meanwhile, Ms Rungthip Imrungruang, policy director of Action Aid organization, told Thai PBS that women in urban areas, especially in slums, were most vulnerable to sexual violence.
She said there were 30,000 rape cases during 2009-2013, but only about 4,000 cases were reported to the police or 13 percent.