Instances of violence against women continue to occur regularly, yet campaigns against such violence remain confined within the narrow scope of politics.
On June 30, at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in the Police Hospital, the parents of Gib,” a 19-year-old female university student, tragically cried when they received the body of their daughter, who was stabbed to death by her 20-year-old high school boyfriend.
The incident occurred in the Minburi state housing complex, more specifically in building 21, on the sidewalk between the 3rd and 4th floors at the night of June 29.
The victim’s body had stab wounds in the chest and abdomen, as well as injuries to the neck and the left side of the face. The murder weapon was a sharp-edged knife found near the stairwell.
Police officers discovered the suspect, whose name is Nattachon, injured on the lower floor of the building. The rescue team immediately transported him to Serirak Hospital.
The witness at the scene, Rassapa Tepsa, a 51-year-old corporate manager who oversees this building, testified that the man in question tried to jump off the building to commit suicide. She tried to calm him down, told him to stay calm and reminded him that there was a way out. However, he replied, “I can not live anymore, Gib is dead,” before deciding to jump off the side of the building and land in a water tank, sustaining injuries.
The young man, 20, is a 12th grade student at a school in the Minburi area of Bangkok. He is a relative of the room owner. As for the deceased, she visited him frequently. It is reported that the woman may have been dating other men, causing the young man to become jealous and possibly triggering the incident.
Violent acts and murders of women driven by male jealousy remain commonplace in Thailand. However, there is a lack of clear campaigns and consistent statistics derived from daily police records or concrete legal action against perpetrators. The available statistics are mainly based on reports from selected women’s organizations, which rely on news from the mainstream media.
According to the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, which collected data from media reports on domestic violence in 2021, 52.4 per cent of cases were found to be domestic incidents resulting in death. The highest percentage of these cases involved the killing of the wife by the husband (63.4 per cent).
Recently, Akanat Promphan, general secretary of the United Thai Nation Party, sparked a movement by publishing posters and a call to unite against violence against women. However, this action was seen merely as a political maneuver to attack the Move Forward party, especially after a member of the party was implicated in an assault on a woman.
Akanat has also been criticized for not truly understanding the issue of violence against women, as he previously participated in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) movement that opposed the former Prime Minister, the first female Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, using offensive language and gestures towards women.
According to UN Women, violence against women and girls is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
Violence against women and girls encompasses, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family or within the general community, and perpetrated or condoned by the State.
In his response, Akanat stated, “I did not criticize the former prime minister based on gender issues. It was not about discrimination against male, female, or LGBTQ gender identities. It was about fulfilling the duties as the leader of the country, whether that was right or wrong. This matter is in the past, and I am open to accepting criticism as well.”
He also mentioned the case of a member of the Move Forward party, stating that when the accused holds a significant political position, if everyone remains silent out of fear of political backlash, the voices may fade away.