In an effort to help combat rape culture in Thailand, a law student at Thammasat University is speaking out about her own sexual assault experience.
In a Facebook post, Thararat Panya said she wants to encourage other victims to come forward after being victimized, noting that many choose to remain silent and repeatedly end up getting abused.
“Had I decided not to speak up, I might have been a factor that encourages rape culture to happen in the future,” Panya wrote.
Her post included a document mentioning the university’s punishment of another law student who was found violating the student code of conduct. He was given a one-semester suspension and community service for his violation, which Thammasat University described as “inappropriate behavior”, reported The Nation.
Refusing to stay silent, Thararat spilled the details about how the senior student in the Faculty of Law sexually assaulted her.
“Fortunately, I had the opportunity to kick him and push him away,” Thararat said.
She stated that on the night of the incident, she was inebriated and stayed at a friend’s dorm room along with other friends and senior students. One of them was the attacker, whom she previously trusted.
Thararat noted that the student claimed he was drunk and did not mean to assault her.
“But I don’t buy such an excuse. Being drunk does not give you the right to mistreat others,” Thararat said.
She added that she hopes her revelation inspires similar victims of sexual assault to speak up as well.
“Speaking up comes with a price. But I would like to encourage victims to come forward … You have the rights to bring culprits to justice,” Thararat said.
She further explained that she will never conceal her identity when discussing the incident as she wasn’t at fault.
Thararat’s post has since generated many supportive responses from netizens posting encouraging comments.
However, there were also those who resorted to victim-blaming and criticized her for “exposing herself” to a possible assault by being in the company of male students after drinking alcohol.
“Don’t be naive. It’s not possible to tell dogs that they do not have the right to bark or bite. That’s hard to do even if you have 100 years to try to train those dogs,” one netizen commented.
Meanwhile, another commenter warned the males to avoid situations where their sexual urges could “overcome their conscience”, especially while intoxicated.
“And if you are not drunk, watch your friends. Don’t let the males get close to females. Don’t leave drunk females in dangerous areas,” he said.
Featured Image Via Facebook / Thararat Panya