Domestic violence is increasing in the UK at an alarming rate. Currently the police are receiving calls regarding domestic violence at the rate of one a minute nationwide. Worryingly the highest percentage increase is between British men and their Asian partner.
The Government defines domestic violence as "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality."
So it is not just physical violence but mental as well. The most common reason for violence is the issue of power and the need for control by the perpetrator. Whilst alcohol or drugs may be blamed they are not an excuse or explanation, the underlying problem is not so simple and is not likely to go away.
As we deal primarily with British men marrying Thai ladies this page is of concern in this situation only. Some of the information that follows does not necessarily apply to nationals of other countries.
In the case of Thai nationals married to British men the problem was really identified by Rudyard Kipling who wrote ‘Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet, till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s Judgement Seat.’ Quite simply the Thai way of thinking, Thai logic and the Thai psyche are totally different to the British way. We are not saying one or the other is correct, it is just a plain fact that the mindsets are different and this leads to problems.
There is help available for victims of domestic violence and this can include relocation to a different part of the UK together with re-housing and access to benefits. The victim does not have to have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
It is commonly thought that wife entering the UK on a two year probationary visa has no rights. This is completely incorrect. She can get the full protection of the law and if she has not completed her two years probation her indefinite leave to remain (ILR or permanent residency visa) can be applied for and granted before the two years are up.
In order to protect the victim the police must be contacted and a crime report made. Normally the police will arrest the perpetrator but very frequently the case will not go up to a magistrate. That is fine for the victim, the report has been made and she is now eligible for ILR and help and benefits. The police will arrange for the victim to meet the team in her area who can help her and arrange everything for her.
Unfortunately the victims will rarely report the first few instances of domestic violence and often it is not until after the 10th serious assault that a cry for help will be made. The victim does not have to report the crime; any responsible person can do so.
We have dealt with straightforward wife beaters who normally only hit them when under the influence of alcohol or drugs and also with mental violence such as the man who kept his wife locked in a caravan and only saw her briefly after work before locking her in again and going home to stay with his mother who did not even know about his Thai wife.
Do not for one moment think that children are unaffected by domestic violence. They are very well aware of what is happening, although they do not understand it, and research has proven that witnessing this violence will have a deep and profound effect on the child in the future. It is a mistake to think that it is best to stay together for the sake of the children, the opposite is true.
We offer totally free and confidential advice for any Thai victim of domestic violence. Please do not hesitate to telephone us, a Thai speaking adviser is here to help you.