Rape Culture Prevails In Thailand: School Halls Become Hell For Students

Nalinrat Thuthubthim was in highschooler when the assault happened. She’d often stay on the premises after school had ended, working on speeches with her teacher for the upcoming competitions. Needing to use the restroom, she asked a faculty to help her lift the shutter on the washroom doorway. Secluded with the teacher, he then proceeded to rape her, holding her around the neck and groping her under her clothes.”I froze, I stayed still and wanted to cry. My mind was blank, it froze. My hands and feet were cold,” Nalinrat said in an interview in 2021.

When she told a female teacher about the attack, the teacher blamed it on what she was wearing and said they showed off her body and were sexually arousing. Nalinrat showed reporters what she wore that night: a drab grey T-shirt and black jogging pants.┬áThe teacher also told her not to say to her parents about the took place because it “might cause many issues.” Nalinrat forcefully listened, keeping the abuse a secret to herself.

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“I started having panic attacks in the second month after the incident. I had seizures until I fell asleep every night for years until I sought treatment,” she said. She was found riddled with panic disorders after the incident.
From the advocacy group of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, Angkana Intasa pointed out the double standards present in school textbooks in Thailand, which accuse women of sexual assault and associate what women wore with rape.

Angkana told Gazettes that “Women are told to remain virgins before marriage and not learn about sex, but men can talk about sex and have sex,”
“This kind of content shouldn’t be in textbooks at all. It blames women, but it doesn’t question the perpetrators of sexual assaults, why they couldn’t restrain themselves from sexually assaulting others.”

Nalinrat’s is not the only one. WHO says around 30,000 women are sexually abused in Thailand every year. About 18,000, or 60 %, of them are girls whose ages range from 5-20, most of whom are pupils.
The problem extends throughout Thailand’s public schools, with the kingdom recording 159 cases of sexual abuse committed by teachers over the last decade, with the suspicion of many of them going.
A video went viral in April 2020 of a school teacher assaulting a 12-year-old girl. It shocked the entire nation. After a month, five teachers and two former students were accused of gang-raping two female students at the same school for over a year. A family filed charges against a teacher for allegedly raping their 11-year-old son for over three years. The teacher was also said to have assaulted at least five students in 3rd -6th grade. Communities often silence survivors to avoid controversy, to the point of letting the attackers go free, said Angkana.

Sex abuse scandal at Thai school sparks outrage - UCA News

A constitutional monarchy ruled by a militaristic government, Thailand’s authoritarian politics can be observed in its culture at its schools. Nalinrat herself realised the authority that teachers wield over pupils’ flesh.
“Teachers always show that they have rights over our bodies such as forcing haircuts, pulling of bra straps, pulling the crotch or even touching a male student’s sexual organ,” Nalinrat Thuthubthim said.
After having had enough of the culture of silence from victims and victim-blaming, Nalinrat took part in student protests in Bangkok in November 2020, where activists from the Bad Students Group an end to repressive and abusive practices of schools in Thailand.

 

She sat in the middle of the crowd with her mouth covered by black electric tape while she held up a cardboard sign that read: “I was sexually assaulted by a teacher. Schools are not safe places.”