Avoid sex assault: Don't dress sexy, says government
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Avoid sex assault: Don't dress sexy, says government

The Local Administration Department has advised all women to dress modestly during the Songkran holiday, or risk sexual harassment and assault. (File photo by Chanat Katanyu)
The Local Administration Department has advised all women to dress modestly during the Songkran holiday, or risk sexual harassment and assault. (File photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Local authorities 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 more than 30 women who previously experienced unwanted sexual advances over Songkran.

A photo in an art exhibit called What Were You Wearing? which was displayed at the University of Kansas, received widespread attention in the media in Thailand late last year.

Created in 2013 by Jen Brockman, the director of Kansas University's Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, and Dr Mary A Wyandt-Hiebert, who oversees programme initiatives at the University of Arkansas' rape education centre, the photo demonstrates that the reasons for sexual attacks on women are not related to their outfits.

Meanwhile, it was announced that His Majesty the King will stage a three-day event to mark Songkran at the Royal Plaza and at Sanam Sua Pa from April 6-8.

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