x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Housemaid claims she was beaten

A 25-year-old Filipina housemaid claims she was mistreated and held hostage for a year and a half by her Emirati employers.

ABU DHABI // A 25-year-old Filipina housemaid claims she was mistreated and held hostage for a year and a half by her Emirati employers. The woman alleges she was slapped and kicked regularly and beaten with an electric extension wire until it was torn to pieces. The employer has been arrested on an assault charge and the matter referred to the public prosecution, according to Benito Valeriano, consul general at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai.

The housemaid said she was locked in the house in Ajman, in effect being held prisoner. She said she managed to escape on the morning of August 9 after someone left a door ajar. She took a taxi to her agency's office, and was then taken to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Hospital, where she stayed for two weeks and was treated for a broken rib and back injuries. She was discharged on Monday. "I saw her when she was at the hospital. The wounds were fresh and all over her body. The employer's wife beat her with an electric extension wire," said Mary Simangan, a welfare officer at the Filipino Workers Resource Center.

"The wife, who was pregnant, started beating her after she gave birth in October. So did her sister," claimed Ms Simangan. The housemaid, who began her employment in February last year, claimed the employer's wife beat her occasionally until July 2008, when she started beating her every day. Mr Valeriano said that after the housemaid was released from hospital, the consulate helped her file a complaint at Ajman police station against her employer. "This is the first such beating that I've seen here in Dubai," Mr Valeriano added.

"She was badly beaten. She is now in our custody, she is now better, [but] still needs some therapy and proper medical treatment. Despite the fact that she is stable, she looks in pain, still limping and cannot walk properly." The housemaid is staying at the workers' resource centre until her case is resolved. She then plans to go back to her family in the Philippines. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae