Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Migrante-UAE alarmed over spate of rape cases involving Filipinas

Members of a Filipino migrant's right group are alarmed over the spate of rape incidents involving their compatriots in the UAE.

ABU DHABI // Members of a Filipino migrant's right group are alarmed over the spate of rape incidents involving their compatriots.

"We've been handling rape cases almost every week," said Karen Tanedo, chairwoman of Migrante-UAE. "It's really alarming."

On January 12, the group received a report of a Filipina housemaid in Umm Al Quwain who was gang-raped by three Arab men on December 31. The following week a secretary complained that she was raped by her boss inside a hotel room.

"The boss said there was a party with the rest of the team," said Nhel Morona, the UAE country co-ordinator for Migrante Middle East. "They began drinking while she waited for the guests to arrive. It turned out that there was no party and he raped her."

Last week, the group also received a complaint from a Filipina shop assistant who was attacked by her Arab friend's compatriot.

The organisation handled seven rape cases in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai last year.

"We now plan to open a women's desk to help all these distressed women and we'll endorse their cases to the Philippine embassy and consulate," said Ryan Pescadera, the group's secretary general.

The new service will complement the counselling provided by Gabriela-UAE, a Filipino women's rights group that was launched in Dubai in November 2011.

"These women are defenceless," said Kristie Mae Templa, the group's secretary-general. "Many fail to report the crime because they fear they will end up in prison and be blamed for what happened."

In September last year, Dr Mohammed Murad Abdullah, director of the Dubai Police decision-making support centre, told a conference on violence against women that a recent police study found only 9.5 per cent of sexual assault victims report the crimes.

Women were far more likely to go to the police if they had been the victim of a severe assault (80 per cent) or a threat (50 per cent).

Gabriela UAE has held a series of sessions for housemaids and office workers about violence against women since its launch.

"They need to be educated on violence against women and children," Ms Templa said. "The agency that deployed them to the UAE should run awareness sessions on what to expect while working overseas and how and where they can seek help."

Both groups refer the cases to the Assistance To Nationals section at the Philippines consulate in Al Ghusais.

The consular officers provide counselling, attend court hearings, ask for legal assistance funds from Manila, visit jails and coordinate with UAE authorities.

"As a lawyer, I would encourage them to report the crime to the police," said Frank Cimafranca, the Filipino consul-general in Dubai. "They can also approach the embassy or consulate for assistance.

"In sexual crimes, especially rape, it is important to report it without delay following the incident so that the culprit could be apprehended immediately and to preserve evidence."

rruiz@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National