An American Youtuber living in Bangkok has taken it upon himself to identify Thai’s reactions to public displays of domestic violence. Nate Barling posted a video on his YouTube channel ‘My Mate Nate’ showcasing the somewhat grim reactions of people who witness public domestic violence.
The video that now has over 450k views, stages scenes of male and female couples arguing in high traffic areas such as parks, BTS stations and on a running track. A nearby hidden camera captures all of the crude actions on video while nearly none of the bystanders take much notice and even less action.
The video was made as a social experiment to raise awareness of the looming statistics of Thailand’s domestic violence. At the beginning of the video a caption reads “In 2016, 1 in 3 Thai homes will deal with domestic abuse. If you see something, would you help?” The 4 minute video goes one to show 3 scenarios of couples using overly demanding language, and physical abuse like pushing, shoving and kicking.
In one scene, where a man is pushing a female around, a British Caucasian takes it upon himself to intervene and tell the abuser what he’s doing “Is not cool.” When the victimizer rebuttals with “But she is my wife.” The good samaritan suggests “It’s time to get the police.”
Only in one other scene, on a very busy running track, does anyone stop to confront the abusive culprit. At around the 2:10 mark of the video, A Thai runner slows down to step in and break up the pushing match. Very quickly 4 or 5 others come in to protect the victim.
The video is an eye opener and seems to answer its own question asked at the beginning – most people would not help. A report by the UN in 2005 say that 44 percent of Thai women have reported being abused physically and or sexually by a partner.
A more recent survey in 2012 discovered that 30.8 percent of households in Thailand reported having domestic violence within the household, nearly 1 in every 3 Thai homes.
In the final seconds of the video, speaking in Thai, Nate pleads with the audience to do the right thing and not allow this type behavior to go on in Thai society.