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Building Faith in the Judicial System

October 24th, 2023

“I was afraid to go back to the house where my uncle lived”, said Inthira, a fifteen-year-old girl from Samut Prakan, Thailand. Inthira’s parents are separated. Till the age of thirteen, she used to live with her father. She was being sexually abused by her aunt’s husband. This began when was just eleven. Refusing to go back to her father’s home, she chose to stay with her mother and confided in her about the abuse she faced. Her mother decided that she would not stay quiet.

Inthira and her mother fight for justice
Inthira and her mother fight for justice

Working with the Judicial System

Despite her resolve, Inthira’s mother was not well-versed enough to single-handedly proceed in her fight for justice. As a first step, she chose to report to Childline Thailand Foundation (CTF), a partner of Terre des Hommes Netherlands. CTF is a well-known child protection organisation in the country. In her call to CTF, Inthira’s mother explained her child’s case in detail.

She was told to file a case with the police but was hesitant. To her, approaching the police meant exposing her daughter to more danger. She also feared retaliation from Inthira’s father’s family. CTF then filed a complaint with the police on behalf of Inthira and coordinated with the Department of Children and Youth who ensured that the mother and daughter were safe in their fight.

The police interrogated the alleged offender and it turned out that the case had grounds to believe that the crime was actually committed as claimed by the child. The case was compiled and sent to the prosecutor. The court accepted the lawsuit and the hearing process has been set in motion.

Having had the experience of being supported by the police and government officials, Inthira’s mother was reassured of the systems in place to protect her and her child. 

“Although we were still scared, we slowly built our faith in the judicial process”, said Inthira’s mother. 

At Terre des Hommes Netherlands, we work towards facilitating empowerment and protection by strengthening linkages in structures and systems. Inthira’s story is a great example of this. 

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