By THE NATION
MANY THAIS believe drug abuse and alcohol consumption are the most common causes of violence, a recent large-scale survey showed.
The authorities have designated November as the month to campaign for an end to violence against women and children.
Statistics show that so far this year, at least six people every day have been a victim of violence. Of the 2,710 victims reported – most of them youths – 1,774 suffered violence at the hands of their own relatives. Of the total victims, 2,043 were women.
“The respondents also put violence down to upbringing problems, association with the wrong type of people and stress,” Porametee Vimolsiri, permanent secretary at the Ministry for Social Development and Human Security, said yesterday.
His ministry’s survey unit collaborated with NIDA Poll to conduct a survey on 4,800 respondents over the past two months.
When asked about violence in Thai society, more than half of the respondents mentioned brawls and physical assault, while 52.6 per cent said domestic violence significantly fostered aggressive behaviour and suppression of emotion among children.
When asked whether media encourages people to act aggressively because of their violent content, respondents pointed the finger at YouTube for allegedly spawning copycats followed by social media and TV soap operas.
As for what they would do upon witnessing violent incidents, most respondents said they would alert the police.
Some 53.07 per cent added that strict enforcement of the law was a good way to solve violence problems, while some 48.81 per cent said good family relations and inculcation of proper attitudes were the solutions.
As for what they would do to end violence in society, 26.27 per cent said they will suppress violence within themselves, while 25.29 per cent said they will not react when angry.
Meanwhile, 42.79 per cent said it was their duty to curb violence in society, while 34.06 per cent said this was a family duty.
Saranya Chittangwong, adviser to a UN Women project, said the very fact that 40 per cent of the respondents were willing to help end violence made her happy. “So, we should provide information on what people can do when they witness violence.”
Leartpanya Buranabandit, who heads the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development, said all parties must start inculcating the right attitude if violence is to be brought to a complete end.
“It’s best to start at a young age. If people understand and adopt the sense of gender equality, respect for law and emotional control from a young age, they won’t be violent,” he said.
Chadet Chaowilai, director of Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, said society should understand that attitude matters the most.
“Alcohol and drugs are just stimulants,” he pointed out.