Female ranger survives rape attempt but faces resignation pressure

Photo via Facebook/ กองทัพบก Royal Thai Army

A female Thai ranger faced resignation pressure from her superior after she filed a complaint against a soldier who attempted to rape her with the Royal Thai Army (RTA).

The female ranger, 28 year old Chonlada Charoenram, reached out to the social media influencer, Guntouch “Gun” Pongpaiboonwet, after being forced to resign even though she was the victim. She tried to end her life after the pressure to resign, but her boyfriend saved her life.

Chonlada explained that she was a ranger for nearly seven years in the Deep South provinces. However, she suffered from depression and moved to stay with her boyfriend, who was also a soldier, at his welfare house in the central province of Phitsanuloak during the treatment process.

The incident occurred after she had stayed there for five months. Her boyfriend was at work when his friend, a sergeant major first class, broke into the welfare house.

Chonlada explained that she heard someone entering the residence and decided to rush to the kitchen to get a knife. She said she was relieved to see that the person was a friend of her boyfriend. However, the man approached her and asked for a hug.

Chonlada said she was scared and denied it. She threatened the man that she had a knife but the man was not frightened by it and even dared her to stab him.

The man then attempted to rape her but she did not surrender to her fate. She fought back and managed to escape to hide in the bedroom until her friend came to help her.

Victim blaming

Chonlada went on to say that she filed a complaint against the suspect at the police station and reported it to her superior but the matter went nowhere. The authorities said it was a personal matter and not relevant to the organisation.

Chonlada decided to report the matter directly to the RTA via an application on December 12. Unexpectedly, three days after filing the complaint, her supervisor asked her to sign a letter of resignation, saying she had destroyed the organisation’s image.

Chonlada lost all hope and tried to take her own life, leaving behind a letter expressing her loss of faith in the RTA. Fortunately, her boyfriend managed to save her in time. Having survived death, Chonlada decided to seek justice and approached Gun for help.

The Deputy Spokesperson of the RTA, Ritcha Suksuwanon, announced on December 23 that the RTA received Chonlada’s complaint and already processed the investigation into the matter.

Ritcha stressed that the accused soldier was punished with imprisonment and pension withdrawal. The soldier had to pay compensation to the victim but the amount was not revealed to the public. A special committee was set up to investigate the departments and authorities involved in the pressure to resign.

The RTA faces criticism from the public for its delayed investigation processes and also for making the female ranger who sought justice lose her dignity and almost lose her life.

Nation TV reported that several cases of sexual abuse were previously reported at the Phitsanuloak military compound.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

Crime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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