Domestic Violence in Thailand: Understanding the Law and Taking Action
Living in a foreign country comes with its own set of challenges, and for expats residing in Thailand, awareness about domestic violence and the resources available for support is of utmost importance. This blog post aims to shed light on the issue of domestic violence in Thailand, provide an understanding of the existing laws, and highlight the various organizations that offer assistance and support in tackling this pressing issue.
Thailand adopted a law in 2007 called the Victim of Domestic Violence Act. It criminalize domestic violence and do not hesitate to use this law should you have to. In Thailand, the term “domestic violence” encompasses a wide range of behaviors:
- It refers to any deliberate action or behavior that could potentially inflict physical, psychological, or health-related harm on a family member.
- It also includes the application of undue pressure or the use of unethical persuasion on a family member with the intent of making them perform, consent to, or abstain from a certain action.
However, it’s important to note that actions carried out due to negligence are explicitly excluded from this definition.
Domestic Violence Prevention
Preventing domestic violence requires a multi-faceted approach involving awareness campaigns, education, and legal measures. Thailand has implemented several initiatives to combat domestic violence:
- Education and awareness programs:
Thai authorities actively promote educational initiatives focused on preventing domestic violence. These programs aim to raise awareness about the consequences of domestic violence, educate individuals about their rights, and challenge societal norms that perpetuate violence.
- Strengthening legal deterrents:
Thai law acknowledges domestic violence as a criminal offense. The government has implemented measures to strengthen legal deterrence and support victims. These measures include stricter penalties for offenders, improved enforcement of restraining orders, and provision of legal aid services.
Domestic Violence Support Organizations
For expats living in Thailand who may experience or witness domestic violence, there are several organizations that provide crucial support, counseling, and advocacy:
- Thai Women’s Crisis Centre (TWCC):
TWCC is a leading organization dedicated to combating domestic violence and supporting victims. It offers a range of services, including emergency shelters, counseling, legal assistance, and outreach programs.
- Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand:
This organization focuses on providing support to the LGBTQ+ community facing domestic violence. It offers a safe space, counseling, and advocacy for victims who may face unique challenges due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- National Council for Women’s Affairs (NCWA):
The NCWA is a governmental organization committed to addressing women’s issues, including domestic violence. They work towards empowering women, raising awareness, and implementing policies that protect victims and punish offenders.
Taking Action and Seeking Help about Domestic Violence in Thailand
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it is crucial to take action and seek help promptly:
- Contact the local authorities:
In case of immediate danger, call the Thai emergency hotline “191” to seek assistance from the police or medical services.
- Reach out to domestic violence support organizations:
Contact organizations such as TWCC, Rainbow Sky Association, or NCWA to access the support services they provide. They can guide you through the necessary steps, provide counseling, and assist with legal matters.
- Make a police report and seek for a law firm:
Thailand is a bureaucracy and they love documents. It is important for you to make a police report within 90 days of the events. You should also seek consult from a law firm having experience with Thai family law like us, ThaiLawOnline. We can help you.
Supreme Court of Thailand in judgment No. 2154/2561 stated that (this is a summary):
- The defendant arrived at the plaintiff’s house with a piece of paper, intending to write a message. In the process, they damaged the paint and plaster on the walls, causing it to peel off. They also created a disturbance by shouting and running around the property. The defendant brought balloons and other items, which they tied to the front of the house and threw into the plaintiff’s property. They rang the doorbell persistently, causing damage to the electric doorbell system.
- The defendant’s actions were intended to force the plaintiff, or a minor living in the house, to come out and engage in conversation. When the plaintiff did not comply, the defendant continued with their disruptive behavior. This was an infringement of the plaintiff’s rights, causing undue harm and disturbing their peace.
- The defendant’s actions can be seen as an unethical use of power and coercion, violating societal norms and ethics. It is unreasonable and against common sense to treat another person in such a manner, especially using unlawful meGiven that the plaintiff is a former spouse and thus considered a family member under Section 3, the defendant’s actions constitute an offense under Section 4, paragraph one.
- Document evidence:
If it is safe to do so, gather as much evidence as possible, such as photographs, videos, and documentation of incidents. This evidence can be valuable for legal purposes and ensuring your safety.
- Develop a safety plan:
Work with domestic violence support organizations to create a personalized safety plan. This plan includes steps to protect yourself and any dependents, such as identifying safe places to stay, arranging transportation, and keeping important documents accessible.
Domestic violence remains a significant issue in Thailand, and expats need to be well-informed about the existing laws and available support organizations. By understanding the preventive measures in place, expats can actively contribute to creating a safer society. Remember, help is available, and taking action is crucial to address domestic violence effectively. If you are in an emergency situation, first try to get us on the chat using the AI Chatbot on the lower right of your screen. Click on it, and click (chat if a person is available). If you can’t reach us, send us an email explaining your situation at info@ThaiLawOnline.com. We will answer as soon as we can.