Every day, domestic violence hurts numerous children and women.
The problem has seemingly surged lately, with statistics showing domestic violence soared by 83.6 per cent between January and March this year.
Victims are spouses, parents, siblings, children, adopted children, grandparents and in-laws.
The Office of Justice Affairs on Sunday released infographics to underline the problem and recommend ways to solve it.
It encouraged family members to travel and to do activities together, promote family pride, speak with understanding, have good attitudes towards one another and show mutual respect.
“But if domestic violence still happens, seek help from relevant authorities and alert police,” the guidance emphasises.
It also encouraged neighbours to take action if they notice domestic violence in their areas.
“Do not think it’s a family matter. When violence occurs, victims need help and police can intervene,” the advice notes.
It suggested that victims could also seek help from doctors or state hospitals.
Although it is common for family members to quarrel, things should never escalate into violence, according to the Office of Justice Affairs.
Domestic violence is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of Bt6,000.
In some cases, offenders may also be punished under the criminal laws.
Domestic violence is sometimes associated with other behaviours such as gambling, brawling, drug abuse and alcohol addiction.
Times comment:– It’s good to see this issue is being taken seriously as the figures show a dramatic increase. However, that’s just the tip of the ice berg. The vast majority of instances of domestic violence are never reported so the problem is far greater than the authorities think.
Thailand’s jails are bursting at the seams and could not handle a huge influx of new offenders. As ever here, the fines are simply not heavy enough. Offenders should be means tested then hit with a fine that would affect their lifestyle. For many, 6,000 bht is nothing.
Prevention is far better than cure and there are certain things that could be done to ease the situation. Firstly, tv companies should be banned from showing scenes in their soaps depicting domestic violence. It is nigh on impossible to watch these programmes without witnessing it. As everywhere else in the world, people see soaps as “real life”.
Children should be educated in schools and taught that “real men” do not hit women unless they are being seriously threatened themselves. This is an area that is often forgotten about, men can be victims of domestic violence too.
One piece of advice, do not get involved in a dispute that does not concern you, it can often make matters worse. However, do not just ignore it, call the police.
Alcohol and drug abuse are usually the main reasons for domestic violence all over the world and this makes the problem harder to address. But you have to start somewhere and as with the driving problem, it has to start with the young.
(Source:-The Nation, Thailand)