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Thailand

To avoid sexual assault, don’t be sexy, says Thai government

Controversial message comes ahead of Songkran celebrations

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 March, 2018, 12:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 March, 2018, 12:29pm

By Gregory Morrissey and Penchan Charoensuthipan

Authorities in Thailand are telling women to avoid dressing in ‘sexy’ outfits as they try to prevent sexual harassment or sex assault cases during next month’s Songkran festival.

Department of Local Administration department director-general Sutthipong Chulcharoen said local bodies would arrange alcohol-free zones for revellers and launch campaigns to encourage tourists, particularly women, to dress appropriately so they do not fall victim to sex crimes.

He has told local governing bodies to come up with measures to better protect Songkran revellers and maintain order at tourist spots and entertainment venues during Songkran.

Jadet Chaowilai, director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation, handed a letter to the Interior Ministry asking for better protection for women during next month’s festival.

He was accompanied by more than 30 women who previously experienced unwanted sexual advances over Songkran.

Late last year, a powerful art exhibit called What Were You Wearing? displayed at the University of Kansas received widespread attention in the media in Thailand.

It featured stories from 18 victims of sexual violence along with representations of what they were wearing at the time. Clothing included a bikini, a red dress, khakis and a t-shirt and jeans.

The aim of the exhibit was to debunk the myth that sexual attacks can be prevented by dressing modestly.

Read the original article at Bangkok Post