THIALAND – Violence against women and children is among the most serious public health concerns as the country has seen a significant rise in abuse cases during the past 15 years.
The Permanent Secretary of the Public Health Ministry, Dr Narong Sahamethapat said on Saturday that up to 631 centres for women have officially been launched in hospitals nationwide since 1999 to take care of women and children who suffered physical and sexual abuses.
The centre’s study from 2007 showed that there were total 19,067 cases of violence or threats against women and children, with an average of 52 women beaten every day, and the centre recorded a total of 31,866 cases last year. It also reported that Thai women and children were beaten every 15 minutes or an average of 87 cases daily, of which 60 per cent of the total cases targeted children. Nine out of ten children were girls, mostly between the ages of 10-15 years old. The remaining 40 per cent were women, who were beaten due mostly to jealousy.
Up to 72 per cent of the total cases reported last year were of rape, followed by violent cases at 21 per cent due to variety of reasons. Abusers were reportedly someone very close to the victims and they did these acts when circumstances allowed.
The study also showed that women aged 35-45 years old mostly fell victim to violence, followed by those aged between 18-25 years old. Up to 9,699 of female victims were beaten by their spouses because of jealousy and arguments, while 2,226 women were sexually harassed.
Dr Narong said violence against women and children tended to increase when alcohol and drug abuse were involved as well as a result of the misuse of internet and computer technology. He said his ministry has targeted to establish centres covering all regions of the country and that it will increase protection for seven vulnerable targets, including young women, women with psychiatric disorders or physical disabilities, as well as those who were brought up in broken homes or whose family members were drug abusers, alcoholics and mentally ill.