We kicked off 2020 by hitting the road again in the Isan region of northeast Thailand, reaching out to two poorly resourced schools in rural Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen provinces. In all, we managed to train 152 high school girls on dealing with gender-based violence and planning for a future beyond high school. Even though they were serious subjects, we made it fun and gave the girls a safe space to air their hopes, fears and doubts.
As with our previous experiences in this part of the country, high school girls at the workshops had scant knowledge about what constituted abuse and what rights they had under Thai laws. About half of those we surveyed thought it was ok for their fathers to imprison them if they made a mistake, while another 17 percent were unsure if being locked up was acceptable. It’s the sad truth but a reality on the ground in the northeast. At least we felt reassured that they are now more well-versed with women’s law and rights in Thailand after the training, and they know the resources they can tap on, including contacting us, should they find themselves in risky situations.
There are thousands more like the ones we have just trained who live in communities or homes where violence is normalised. We are thankful to those who have supported us and funded our outreach to these at-risk girls. However, the need remains great and if you think what we do is a cause you are passionate about as well, please support us in our efforts to arm underprivileged high school girls with knowledge and skills to deal with sexual harassment and violence. Our outreach to them will include::
raising awareness of a range of risks (including relationships, harassment, financial dependency, pregnancy, and online grooming), as well as teaching tactics for avoiding different types of danger and ways to deal with incidents that may arise;
training in basic self-defence moves such as wrist grabs, lapel grabs, and protection on the ground;
and raising awareness of the Thai laws relevant to women, such as procedures in reporting domestic violence or assault to the police.
Do consider gifting to our cause so that more lives can be transformed!
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