Taking action to eliminate gender-based violence in Thailand: a Chevener’s story

How far would you go to combat domestic violence? Meet Busayapa Srisompong, an inspiring Chevening Alumna who founded SHero Thailand, an organisation with an aspiration to eliminate domestic violence in Thailand.

‘After completing my bachelor’s degree in law, I embarked on a significant career shift towards the field of human rights. My focus lies in advocating for access to justice, especially for marginalised communities who are most affected by inequality and discrimination.

My perspective was broadened when I made the decision to leave Bangkok and spent years working on the ground directly with migrant, stateless, and refugee populations along the Thai-Myanmar border, advocating for their rights. I evolved into a passionate advocate against gender-based violence, an area frequently overlooked in both national and global political and human rights discourse.

The master’s degree I chose through Chevening offered me an ideal blend of international politics, human rights, and law, aligning perfectly with my career aspirations. The programme was offered by the University of Glasgow, one of the most esteemed universities in the UK.

“The importance of studying human rights remains crucial. We need to nurture a new generation of advocates who are dedicated to upholding the rights and freedoms of the oppressed.”

During my Chevening year in the UK in 2019/2020, the COVID-19 pandemic started and my programme switched to online learning. Despite these challenges, I still managed to build connections with local advocates dedicated to addressing gender-based violence, and I conducted workshops on campus.

While in the UK, I became acquainted with its comprehensive legal framework, which recognises concepts such as coercive control and sextortion. Although there is still work to be done in this area, the UK government supports domestic violence initiatives by providing subsidies for shelters and aid organisations nationwide.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence cases surged globally. I noticed that the pandemic made it even more challenging for people in Thailand to receive sufficient support in domestic violence cases. I founded SHero Thailand in 2016 to advocate for a survivor-centred approach to gender-based violence in Thailand and for the recognition of domestic violence as a human rights issue.

SHero is building a collective of lawyers and volunteers capable of providing support to survivors, prioritising their safety, well-being, and trauma-informed care. So far, we have supported in over 300 cases of domestic violence.’