Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016


I am not sure how many times have I seen the Australian authorities announcing they have sent police officers over to Thailand yet once again to train Thai police in how to deal with sex crimes.

They have done it several times, and so have the Brits, Americans, and others.

Several people in the charities in the business of protecting the victims of sex crimes, both adult and juvenile, have voiced to me the futility of such exercises.

Officers volunteer to go on them I believe because, well if they’re out of town it’s a trip. And if they are in town, it’s a change. They probably get stickers and certificates too.

There of course has been no noticeable change in how police treat victims of sexual assault, and what better case to illustrate the point than the recent case of an Australian woman who said she was abducted in the Khao Sarn Road backpacker area of Bangkok and taken to a derelict building and raped.

What is the first things the police do? 

Well they put out a statement saying essentially, they do not believe her story because she was in the Khao Sarn Road area and caught on CCTV and thus could not have been at the rape location at the same time.   And then they also announced her story was suspicious because she said she was accosted by a ‘tuk tuk’ driver, but an alleged suspect was a motorcycle taxi driver.

Mail Online

No only that that they released the video of her in Khao Sarn Road so the Thai press could have a field day writing about foreigner who was hamming up a rape claim.

Yet on the video it was quite clear that she, clearly drunk. Thus many people on forums have also said it was her own fault.

Women have been known to make up stories of rape. But that it quite rare. In in those cases it is either invariably an act or revenge against someone they know, or perhaps to cover up their own discretion.

If foreign women knew what I know about the conduct of Thai police in previous rape cases they probably would not report them at all.  The problem is that Thailand appears deceptively safe. 

But the Australian woman courageously stood her ground. 

And lo and behold the police then announced they had caught the rapist and he was a person who had just been released from prison for serving a sentence for a similar offence.

Alex injuries to her chin and below hand
Automatically Thai police also discredited the account of a young American woman Alexandra Fairfield, 26, who said she was abducted in Bangkok, and fought off a sex attack. She said she had been locked in a room but got away by jumping from the second floor and hiding in bushes.

A GoFundMe page raised some US$7000 to get her back to the USA.
Alex did not make a police report because she did not trust the police. One of the alleged gang wore a brown uniform. However, given the fact that this was her first trip to Bangkok and that she admittedly was drunk or had been slipped a mickey fin, on her return she gave a plausible account of her ordeal.

The money raised, an amazing tribute to the citizens of Ravenna, West Michigan, paid for her trip back and the surplus was paid to a charity dealing with sex crimes in Thailand.
Thai Police also discredited her report, but as they did not have a complaint from her, they were not on particularly shaky ground.

What was worse was the male foreign residents of Thailand who were quick to discredit her story.

One such critic was Stickboy Bangkok an elderly Scot who makes cash out of the boiler room boys advertising their sex venues in his column which he writes from dredging the local media and adding his own colour and slant. He wrote:

"The problem is Alex Fairfield’s story has more holes in it than a golf course.
'I’m not saying the young woman is lying, just the story, if true, lacks many important details and for me doesn’t add up…. 
"Hope Miss Fairfield and her friend get home safely and she wasn’t harmed but her story, in my opinion, is the work of her imagination after something of her own doing went pear-shaped.
"Jumping balconies and hiding in bushes all night my arse…"

Stickboy also queried the money which was raised, as if, well, he did not have it himself. And did he really hope she got home safely, or was that a just a softener for his accusation that she had made it all up to cover her own actions? 

The fact is that Thailand is dangerous for women. It’s a fact Thais know, especially Thai women many of whom will not get alone in a cab at night unless they know the driver and have pre-booked.

In another foreign case the Bangkok Post will be running a story today confirming that Hua Hin police say there was no foul play in the case of the death of James Hughes, a lecturer as Webster University, Cha-am. The pathologist had confirmed that he had died from ‘fatty liver disease’.

Hughes, was found dead in the Poung Pen Hotel in September. His head and body had severe bruising and lacerations.
After three months of total lack of clarity in this case the deceased’s friends will not be letting it rest there.

There has been some disquiet about the quality of work at the Police Hospital in Bangkok after foreign pathologists expressed disbelief at evidence presented in the trial of two young Burmese for the murder of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Millar on the island of Koh Tao.


Bob Kneale said...

As the father of 3 daughters I am not condoning rape, or any kind of assault on women, but neither do I condone what seems to be unbalanced reporting of attacks, and perhaps unjustified criticism of the RTP in these latest cases which do display glaring inconsistencies.

In the CCTV footage you failed to mention that the Australian woman is seen linking arms and walking with the man you allege was "dragging her off against her will" shortly before she was seen kissing him (0.16). She was very clearly not trying to get away from him.

The American woman who claimed to have been abducted said that to escape she had to jump from the balcony of the 2nd floor room. Her mother posted a number of times on a local forum in support of her daughter saying that she was held in a "windowless apartment". For an apartment to have no windows is very unusual and it is unlikely that that windowless apartment would have a balcony. It is also unlikely that an abductee would be aware of the apartment (allegedly) having a balcony from which she could jump (it had no windows) unless she could see through the walls.

Andrew Drummond said...

Well Bob.I amended the comment under the video. It is not shown that this video is connected to the rape.However suffice to say Thai courts may take the view that she was up for it with the Thai motorcycle driver.

Will justice be done? The motorcyclist now says she was up for it so I expect an ordeal ahead during which she may have to return from Australia at her own cost on a number of occasions.

I cannot remember which part of the world you are from but are you suggesting police there would act in the same mannner.

Your comment on the American lady I put in the ThaiVisa forum bracket.

Steam Punk said...

hey Bob, "no means no"....ya ignorant twat!
"unjustified crticism" are fooling no one but yourself.

Statmonkey said...

My apologies for the length of this response but there is much to dispute and clarify in Bob's most recent rambling.

"As the father of 3 daughters I am not condoning rape, or any kind of assault on women"

Um, yes you are. Just saying I don't condone it does not give you a free pass when for the next two paragraphs you do condone it.

"In the CCTV footage you failed to mention that the Australian woman is seen linking arms and walking with the man you allege was "dragging her off against her will" shortly before she was seen kissing him (0.16). She was very clearly not trying to get away from him."

False or obfuscatory. The man she was with was not the man who raped her. This has been made clear on the many other outlets who were forthright enough to report on this.

The last paragraph is nothing more than armchair Sherlock Holmes work and speculation. Equally or more valid questions would be: How did she get the bruises? What would be her motivation for attaching the stigma of raped to herself by reporting this? How come there are so many of these cases reported where the police claim "nothing happened, nothing to see here?" Is there a pattern that suggests a societal problem?

These are valid questions with rational pathologies. Having served on the Provincial Mental Health Board in Phuket for many years when I lived there (in fact, essentially starting it). I can confirm that there are many, many more rape victims than are reported or investigated. It has long been held in that society that reporting such crimes is pointless and more often than can believed the reporting woman is subjected to verbal and physical abuse for reporting the crime. At one point I attended a conference in Bangkok sponsored by UNICEF. An amazing amount of victims came forward to state that after reporting the crime the police viewed the victims as "easy" or "wanting it" and they were often assaulted again for their trouble. This was supported by what I witnessed on Phuket. The end result is that rape is severely under-reported in Thailand and while their percentages are high it is unknown how many rapes actually occur.

These sir are facts. A quick Google search will lead you to several articles including one from Al Jazeera stating "Victim-blaming is common in Thailand's patriarchal society that often shames women who report rape". Which would in fact support the author's conclusion directly. What's shameful is this is only the tip of the iceberg and by condoning it you are essentially supporting the process of naming and shaming the victim not the perpetrator.

Again, questioning and having a contrary opinion is a potential asset. Thinking before forming that opinion, questioning and doing some research before stating that the ideas you are question are valid makes that opinion actually credible and of value.

jules in KL said...

Sometimes poor reporting obscures the matter or can lead to a false but logical conclusion. IN the original reporting (not by AD) the reporter may have got the facts wrong or missed something.
There was a confusing report connecting "windowless" and "balcony" which was nonsensical and that should be the clue to the amateur sleuths, a news report does not have the full facts within it.

jules in KL said...

In my view, and not all men share it, there is no nobility in picking up and having intercourse with a very, very drunk woman who would otherwise be a complete stranger.
Being drunk is not consent, and consent is hard to fathom when they are as drunk as that video shows. It is not an excuse for the man that she was that drunk.

Trollmeister General said...

"Perhaps unjustified criticism of the RTP...!" That really does take the biscuit, Bob. An outrageous comment, even for you.

Ian McFarland said...

Well said Statemonkey, Bob Kneale's comments are disgraceful. As so often he takes a contrary view but fails to back it up with any facts, and in this case fails any test of humanity.

Father of three daughters. Go figure.

D. Farang said...

Bob, with your (not so) "magic" touch, you prove once again that misery loves company. Try a little humility and empathy on for size - if you dare.

But Zebras so rarely change their inveterate black and white stripes. I get that.

In that case, if stasis really rules your roost, perhaps you could try picking wings off flies for a little fun - or alternatively - just pick off one wing and watch the hapless fly run around in little wee circles. It may be more effective than your usual fare of being the Devil's Advocate - and a lousy one at that..



Trollmeister General said...

Are you reading all these comments Bob?
I sincerely hope so - then you will learn how hopelessly out of step you are with just about everybody else on this page.

D. Farang said...

Dear Bob Kneale,

Just about everybody on this page is also hoping you will eventually come around and be the best you can be - with a little help from your (cyber) "friends" of course.

That's what life is all about after all - not picking wings off flies Bob, but rather helping others to help themselves. And in that vein, many folks would wish you Godspeed in your personal humanitarian development - just as many people would wish the same on Donald J. Trump - he with nuclear codes - you with a poisoned pen. The good thing is, you are allowed to throw that pen into the rubbish bin anytime you wish - and never look back.


Attitude = Altitude

Dick Headley said...

Well that put old Bob in his place. On the other hand he does keep the pageview numbers up.

Baa Loy Yet Mae said...

Back to Thai Visa Bob,obviously your talents are wanted here.

Baa Loy Yet Mae said...

Damn spellcheck, wasted,not wanted.

The RatShit Kid said...

When I was in the Army, Bob, we never said that the one soldier in the squad who was out of step with all his colleagues was the one in the right & all his mates were wrong.
No, the guy out of step with everybody else was in the wrong. It was his job to get in step with everyone else - pdq.
You, Bob, are the guy in the squad who is out of step with everyone else.
You might want to do something about that Bob.