More than half of the 32,000 girls and women raped in Thailand last year were students, and alcohol was often a factor, according to health officials and activists.
About 87 rapes occur daily – one every 15 minutes – according to activist Supensri Puengkhokesoon a forum on sexual violence yesterday.
There didn’t seem to be data pertaining to how many rapes were initiated by peers, family members and close friends, but Supensri said most victims “were exploited by people who they were close to and trusted.”
She faulted an unjust system that favors the male attackers, Bangkok Post reported.
Rape has a high profile in the Thai media, with television dramas gleefully portraying sexual assault as a common plot device. From a young age, children are exposed to programs which feature frequent rapes of women, sometimes portraying their attackers as sympathetic characters doing it for “love.” Although young women are instilled with a fear of taxi drivers, the data shows teachers are more likely to be attackers.
Thailand’s official rate of rape – given current census projections – is about 0.95 rapes per 1,000 women. That would be above most rates in most European nations and less than the United States, which after a staggering 15-year decline has a rate of about 1.1 rapes per 1,000 women.
The numbers only reflect reported rapes, so under-reporting could be more of an issue in Thailand depending on how many women seek help.
6.6 percent: Small children
35.1 percent: Minors 11 and 15
22 percent: Women 16 to 20
10.1 percent: Women 26 to 30
Oldest victim: 85
Youngest victim: 1
12.8 percent: School and university students
8.5 percent: Teachers
7.8 percent: Taxi drivers
26.6 percent – Bangkok
11.8 percent – Chonburi
8.3 percent – Samut Prakarn
5.9 percent – Nonthaburi
5.3 percent Pathum Thani
Photo: Charlotte Cooper