Police Lt. Col. Naphatmongkon’s Blog
To deliver true justice, police must respect the rights of women survivors of violence
Dated: 10 July 2017
Every day, police officers receive hundreds of complaints and reports about violence against women, from those on a personal level such as domestic violence and sexual assault to those on a transnational level such as human trafficking. This problem affects not only the security of women but also the security of the state as a whole.
Thai police officers have now come to be more aware of this situation and are putting in their best efforts to bring perpetrators to justice and to heal the survivors of violence as soon as possible. The Thai Government has launched both legal and non-legal measures to provide inclusive help and reparations to survivors of violence, such as by amending laws, improving the welfare of survivors of violence, and arranging seminars or meetings among police officers and other sectors to build understanding of gender-based crimes and develop best practices in pursuing cases of violence against women, especially sexual crimes.
Participating in international seminars and meetings that include many sectors greatly helps police officers become more aware of violence against women and coordinate with other sectors to tackle this problem. Learning policies and perspectives from other sectors such as inter-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, NGOs, and individuals from other countries helps develop our comparative analysis since each country has different laws, policies and measures to deal with violence against women due to different cultures, legal and economic systems. With this comparative knowledge, we can adapt approaches to suit the situation in Thailand.
Providing justice to women has to begin with a good understanding and proper attitude toward women who are survivors of violence. The Royal Thai Police is aware of this important issue and is very determined to raise awareness of victim-centered approaches in police criminal procedure and to deploy more women police officers at every police station so that women survivors will feel more relaxed during interrogation. That includes creating a corner or room especially for sexual violence cases, to put the survivors’ right to privacy at the heart of the process.
Although bringing perpetrators to justice is the significant responsibility of the police, reparations to survivors cannot be neglected. As justice service providers, the police have a great role in healing and in rendering true justice to survivors of violence. Thus, it is necessary for every police officer to have appropriate attitudes towards women’s rights and most importantly, to put survivors of violence at the centre of the process since the interests of survivors is one of the ultimate purposes of the justice process.
Naphatmongkon Lueangkunlawat is Deputy Superintendent in Inspection Division, Office of Inspector General, Royal Thai Police. He is the administrator of Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children and works with many groups to protect children’s rights. His work also involves official inspection on crime prevention, investigation, social services, justice administration and misconduct of officers or employees of all agencies under the Royal Thai Police. He recently participated in a United Nations-organized multi-nation meeting on responding to gender-based violence in Asia and the Pacific.