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Police hunting foreign ass slapper

Police hunting foreign ass slapper

“This random man thinks it’s all fun and games to slap random women’s ass. This has to stop,” said one of several women assaulted last week on Sukhumvit Soi 13.

Last Thursday, a group of feminist Bangkokians got together for an open mic event called #MeTooMANY, inspired by the recent trending hashtag #metoo that encourages women to share and denounce their stories of sexual assault and harassment.

What happened outside the event confirmed why such awareness-raising evenings are needed. As some of the performers and audience members lingered outside Sukhumvit Soi 13’s Live Lounge BKK, where the event took place, a foreign man walked determinedly down the street with a large bag of beer, and in the words of a woman he violated, “slapped the butt of every woman he passed.”

One victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she saw him hit several women’s backsides on the block, including a female street vendor.

Coconuts received a written statement about the event from a Thai woman named Dariya (last name withheld) and felt it worth sharing, especially since tomorrow is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and this is the fourth story about sexual assault on women in Thailand that we have written this week. (In case you missed them: 11 women were allegedly groped by their doctor, a new study showed half of Bangkok females have been sexually harassed on public transport, and a new art exhibition at BACC tackles victim-blaming and sexual consent).

Dariya’s statement reads:

After finishing with the poetry event, I walked along Sukhumvit 13 to find a taxi home and got my butt slapped by a male stranger who walked past in the opposite direction. I froze out of shock for quite a few seconds before gathering enough rage to yell ‘Asshole!’, as he was quickly walking away. He didn’t even look back. He is Caucasian about 170-180 cm tall. His hair is probably sandy blonde. He wore a dark shirt and a pair of knee-length shorts. He walked straight and fast. He was carrying a bag full of beers, so I assume he was on his way to drink a lot somewhere. He didn’t say anything at all. He just slapped my butt as we passed each other and didn’t even look back when I cursed at him.

Then, from the corner of my eye, I saw a friend of mine who was at the show was walking and looking frustrated too. She looked at me and told me that he did that to women the whole way. She said she saw him doing the same thing to a vendor lady on the soi and did it to her as he walked past her. We shared our frustration and went home.

Dariya and the other woman filed a police report the next day and an officer from Lumpini Police Station accompanied them to the scene so they could show her where it happened. The bar next to Live Lounge BKK, Sportsman, has a CCTV camera and gave the footage to the officer. In the clip, we see the man as he leaves the scene of the crime. Both women confirmed with police that this was the alleged perpetrator.

Unfortunately, we can’t see his face clearly but police are currently searching for him. When we reached out for comment, Pol. Lt. Col. Siripong Phumlaocheng, head of investigators at Lumpini, helpfully said, “I don’t recognize the case. You have to check which clerk filed the report, so we could follow up on the case.”

When asked about the ideal outcome to the situation, Dariya said she wants the man prosecuted and hopes to confront him about his actions.

“I want both. I want him to apologize. For him, it’s fun and games, but for me, it’s not. At first, I was shocked, because there have been guys [that did similar] before but this is the first time I was borderline physically abused. He slapped my butt so hard that it actually hurt.”

The message she hopes to get out to others is: “This is not okay. Whether you are a man, a woman, or any gender. You can’t go around hitting people. I assume he doesn’t do that to any man he sees on the street, I don’t know why he thinks it’s okay to do this to women. It brings a bad name to men in general. This random man thinks it’s all fun and games to slap random women’s asses. This has to stop.”

Chiedza Mutsaka Skyum, who organized the #MeTooMANY event along with Bangkok Rising and Bangkok Lyrical Lunacy, was beyond disappointed when she heard what happened. She said, “When Dariya wrote to me to ask if Bangkok Rising would support her in raising awareness of this awful intrusion on her personal space and sense of safety on our Bangkok streets, I knew we had to do what we could.
To top it off, she was on her way home from performing her original piece at an event themed #MeTooMANY to commemorate the IDEVAW. How depressingly ironic!”
Source: Coconuts
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