KUWAIT CITY, April 10: “She has no heart and she treated me like an animal,” cried the Filipina household service worker (HSW) whose photo with bruises and hematoma has gone viral on the social networking site Facebook. E S, 34, separated with four kids and a native of Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat in Southern Philippines who escaped from her employers’ house on April 7 is now under the custody of the Philippine Embassy and staying temporarily at the Filipino Workers Resource Centre after allegedly suffering from severe maltreatment in the hands of her Kuwaiti lady employer.
E S recounted to the Arab Times on Wednesday the alleged trauma and nightmare that she experienced when she arrived in Kuwait on Dec 29, 2010 to work in the household of a Kuwaiti family. “I was the only housemaid and it was a huge house with three floors. I was doing everything inside the house. I only get two hours sleep everyday. I usually sleep at around 12 midnight and my madam wakes me up before 3 am to start doing the chores,” she disclosed. She pointed out that she can handle all the chores but she cannot take the physical abuse that she has suffered from her lady employer.
“She started hurting me last August 2012. At first, she was just throwing slippers at me for no reason at all then as the days went by, she started hitting me with a long wooden stick for only a minor mistake like she wants me to clean the six bathrooms over and over again even if they’re already clean. One time, she saw me falling asleep while doing some chores and I was shocked when she suddenly hit me with a wooden stick. I begged her to stop and asked her if I can rest even for a few minutes but she won’t let me,” E S sobbed as she showed her bruises that dotted various parts of her body and the contusion on her head. She tried once to escape to one of their neighbours but their neighbour brought her back to her sponsor’s house again and the beating became more serious, she claimed.
E S tried to endure everything as her contract was supposed to end last December 2012. “I just held on until December but when December came and when I asked them if I could go home, they told me to wait until my replacement comes. In January this year, from a wooden stick, my madam started beating me with a long steel rod almost everyday,” she stated.
On April 6, her madam called her to the kitchen and scolded her. “She accused me of urinating in the kitchen because of some yellow reflection on the floor. I explained to her that it’s just the reflection of the lights and I will never urinate on the kitchen’s floor. Then she called her husband but her husband said there’s no urine on the floor. This time she became hysterical and got mad at me and screamed at her husband why he was siding with me. When her husband walked out of the kitchen, she then beat with the long steel rod. She even kicked me. I begged her to stop but she wouldn’t until my head was already bleeding and there was so much blood on the floor. She poured water on me and asked me to clean the floor,” E S disclosed. After being beaten black and blue, she went up to her room and finally decided to escape from her abusive madam. “I prayed so hard that night for God may lead me the way,” she shared in between sobs.
Finally, she got a chance to escape when her madam asked her to throw some garbage in the early morning of April 7. Some Filipina housemaids who work in their neighbourhood saw her and took pity on her so they hid her in one of the houses in the neighbourhood with the help of their Kuwaiti employers where she stayed for a day. On April 8, she took a cab and ended up in one of the malls where a Filipina doctor saw her who then took her to the Filipino Workers Resource Centre at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office. “She was the one who took my photos but I did not know that she posted by photos on Facebook. I don’t want my family to know what happened to me. Her intention may be good but I was surprised to see my face all over Facebook. Despite this, I want to thank her for helping me and those who helped me,” E S stated. She added that she is bent on filing a case against her lady employer. “I want her to be behind bars for what she did to me,” she stated as tears welled in her eyes.
The Philippine Embassy under the leadership of the newly assigned Charge d’ Affaires Atty Raul H Dado is closely monitoring the case and vowed to extend all the possible assistance to E S.
“We already brought her for medical exam and we have already reported the incident to the police authorities. The embassy has hired a known Kuwaiti international human rights lawyer, Attorney Al-Saqabi and we will be filing a case against her employer. We’ll do everything and leave no stone unturned to ensure that justice will be served,” disclosed the embassy’s Assistant to Nationals Unit Officer Mar Hassan to the Arab Times.