ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 19, 2011) – A Filipino domestic helper in Kuwait had escaped from her abusive employers and sought help from the Philippine Embassy, reports said Sunday.
It said the woman, who has three children back home, told authorities how she suffered severe physical abuse from her Kuwaiti employers.
“At first, they were treating me well but my Madam started hurting me last May when we visited her mother and stayed in their house in Jahra for three weeks,” she told the Arab Times.
She claimed that her lady employer slapped her on several occasions and allegedly pushed her and hit her head on the wall for no apparent reason. “Both of her hands are heavily-bandaged. Bruises and hematoma mark several parts of her body. Cristy, not her real name, 24, married with three kids and a native of Manila, Philippines, claimed that she suffered severe physical abuse from her Kuwaiti employers.”
“She recounted in between sobs to the Arab Times on Saturday her harrowing experience at the hands of her lady employer. Cristy arrived in Kuwait last March to work as a household service worker for a Kuwaiti family,” the report said.
It said on one occasion, her employer asked her to pour two cups of liquid bleach and a detergent powder into a small basin and allegedly asked her to use her bare hands to dip into the solution and clean the walls of the house.
“She did not allow me to use gloves or a sponge. Both of my hands were blistered because of the solution but she asked me to go on and clean everything,” the Filipino woman said, adding, she has to endure all the physical abuses inflicted on her because she has been thinking of her kids back in the Philippines.
“I need to be strong for their sake. I have to be alive for them,” she said.
The Arab Times said the woman fearing of being killed, escaped on June 12 after her employers asked her to accompany them to a mall. “I took a taxi and went straight to the Philippine Embassy for help. Coincidentally, it was the Philippines Independence Day and it’s also a freedom day for me,” she recounted.
Dalidig Ibrahim Tanandatu, the head of the Assistance to Nationals Unit at the Philippine Embassy, told the Arab Times that Philippine Ambassador Shulan Primavera immediately extended legal assistance to the woman and brought to the police to file a complaint against her employers.
“She was accompanied by two lawyers to the Jahra police station and they were referred to the Criminal Evidence Department. They have already filed a case of sexual harassment and grave physical injuries against her employers. We will do all our best to help her,” Tanandatu said.
The woman is now at the Filipino Workers Resource Center together with some 300 distressed compatriots waiting for Manila to bring them home.
“We have already brought Cristy to the hospital for a thorough examination. Aside from the legal assistance that the embassy is giving her, we will also help her recover from her traumatic experience through counseling and therapy with the help of some partners in the expatriate community,” Philippine Labor Attaché David Des Dicang told the Arab Times.
“I demand justice for what they have done to me. They have to pay for their inhumane acts. I want them to feel and experience what I’ve been through. Even though I want to go home now and be with my family, I will stay here and will fight my case to the end and make sure that justice is served because if I won’t do this, how many more housemaids will they abuse?” the woman said.