AUTHORITIES have rescued a six-year-old boy from his own mother after neighbours heard him cry out in pain and reported suspected abuse.
When police and rescue workers rushed to his home in Chon Buri province on Sunday, they found the injured boy.
There were bruises and blisters all over his body, including on his sex organs, and so he was rushed to hospital where he is still receiving treatment.
Officials said the boy looked brighter, when he was away from his mother and stepfather.
“They both hit me,” the boy was quoted as saying.
The boy’s mother, 24, said she had hit her own son because he often urinated and defecated on his bed.
“Please don’t arrest me. I have to take care of my little baby,” the mother said. She has been charged with physical assault.
After ending her relationship with her former husband, she has been living with a Cambodian. The couple has had a daughter together. The baby is just one month old.
Her Cambodian husband said he would like to apologise to his stepson and society.
“I am now repentant. I am sorry for being hotheaded. Back then, I just thought I should discipline my stepson,” he said.
Neighbours said the family had moved into their community about two months ago. During the past three weeks, they heard the boy crying most of the time, they said.
Worried about the boy’s safety, they alerted the authorities.
This case brings to light domestic child abuse, which experts say has haunted too many children in Thailand.
Gary Risser, chief of Child Protection at Unicef Thailand, earlier this year said that data from a 2015-16 National Statistical Office survey found that some 4.2 per cent of children between age one and 14 had experienced severe physical punishment at home in the month preceding the survey.
This included being hit or slapped on the face, head or ears, or being repeatedly struck with force by a parent.
If that percentage holds true nationally, it would amount to around 470,000 cases nationally.
Risser highlighted the figures in her bid to push for a better child-protection systems at every level.
According to her, Thailand currently has a ratio of just 4.46 social workers for every 100,000 people. This lack of professional staff limits the effectiveness of the system in prevention and providing protection.