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Is Krabi, Thailand safe after rape of Dutch tourist and father's YouTube video?

The biggest news in Thailand this week is the rape of a Dutch tourist in Krabi several months ago and the angry YouTube video response of the woman's father who is furious a man accused of his daughter's rape is now out on bail. As the YouTube video went viral, some western tourists have canceled trips to Krabi fearing it's not safe, and Thailand's reputation for tourist safety is getting a beating. So, is visiting Krabi, Thailand safe? Or is it an area of the world where rapists are given immunity and western tourists shouldn't go?

Boats in Krabi -- one of Thailand's most beautiful beach resorts
Evoflash - Flickr -- Creative Commons License

Are women raped in Krabi? I'm sure they are. Just as women are raped in any city in any country all over the world. Is the incidence of rape higher in Krabi than anywhere else? Of course it's not. In fact, it's probably lower than many similar tourist places in other countries as Thailand has been known for decades as one of the world's safest places for women to travel alone.

As for the Dutch man who thought the appropriate response to his daughter's rape was to create a YouTube video singing about the arrest of the alleged rapist while clutching a gun to his chest and lambasting Thai police, I can't even imagine what kind of rational person would do that?

The man who allegedly raped his daughter was arrested by Thai police as soon as he was found, was charged and is now out on bail awaiting trial. He is a local tour guide who has been operating in the area for a number of years, so it's highly unlikely he is a flight risk. His case will be scheduled for a court date just like any other court case, and he will be tried and imprisoned if found guilty. Just as he would be in any other country, including the Netherlands.

That this Dutch father, however, seems to think a vigilante approach is the best because the police haven't followed through on his opinion of an appropriate timetable and that he also thinks creating a video trashing the reputation of a country's police force and a country because of one incidence of rape is appropriate -- a crime, I might add, that happens in Holland just like in any other country -- seriously? I just don't even know how to respond to that.

Meanwhile, Krabi police have responded with a video of their own talking about the investigation itself and what they plan to do about the alleged rape and the man who was charged with it (see the video at the side of this article). Unfortunately, due to members of the Krabi police force not speaking much English the video is in Thai, which has caused even more blame to be heaped on the Krabi police for their handling of the situation. Blame that is deserved in some respects but definitely not in others.

After all, as the Dutch man will likely eventually find out, his daughter's rape while on holiday in Thailand will be dealt with just as it would have been if it had happened in her home country of the Netherlands. A YouTube video, however, isn't likely to speed its outcome.

## Special note -- I'm not linking to the Dutch father's video as I don't believe in giving views to someone who is that out of touch with reality and how a democratic judicial system works that he seems to think jailing someone without a fair trial is what should happen because he is distraught about his daughter's alleged rape. You are more than happy to search for the link yourself, but I won't be linking to it.

Do I think the Thai police's response was satisfactory? No. But there are better ways to address that than a YouTube video designed to defame and damage an entire country because of one sad incident.