Here’s An Important Reason To Use The Newly Reinstalled All Female Carriages On Holiday In Thailand

Grim statistics about sexual assault in Thailand are worth remembering if you're going there this summer


by Sophie Cullinane |
Published on

Anyone who has spent any time travelling around Thailand will be familiar with the overnight trains that span the country and are a more affordable alternative to getting a plane. But if you're planning on spending time on one this summer, please heed this grim reason you should consider using the newly-reinstalled women's-only carriages: the horrifying rape of a 13-year-old who'd been travelling on one.

Female-only carriages had been the norm in Thailand until relatively recently until they were abandoned because of profit slumps. But train companies have decided to go back on their decision to remove the carriages thanks to widespread protests after a 22 year-old train cleaner was charged with the rape and murder of the 13 year-old. When questioned, the cleaner also confessed to taking drugs before the attack and throwing the victim’s body on to the tracks.

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This week women's carriages were reintroduced, adorned with flower decorated pink and white signs reading ‘Ladies and children only.’ The special carriages permit women and girls as well as boys 10 years old or younger and no taller than 150cm and are staffed by exclusively by female train employees and police.

So while it’s a grim state of affairs that women and children have to be separated from men in order to feel safe from violent attack, it sounds like there's a good reason behind it – the public health ministry recorded more than 31,000 cases of sexual violence in Thailand last year. Stats worth remembering when you're in Thailand this – on a train or otherwise.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophiecullinane

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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