TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An undocumented Indonesian caregiver was allegedly beaten, burned, humiliated, and held captive by her employer in Taipei's wealthy Tianmu area for 14 months.
Last week, an Indonesian netizen posted several photos and two videos to the Facebook page Breaking News Commune (爆料公社) showing numerous injuries to an undocumented female Indonesian caregiver. The footage showed injuries to the woman's head, eyes, ears, teeth, and skin.
According to a report by Mirror Media, the woman had become undocumented after she left her previous employer. To find a new position, she sought the advice of her friend, who introduced her to a new employer in a community near Shilin District's Tianmu Baseball Stadium.
The job was to take care of the homeowner's children and pets. However, the employer became abusive, confiscated her phone, and refused to allow her to leave the house for 14 months.
A friend of the woman surnamed Su (蘇) told the news agency, "She had tried to escape several times, but she had not been successful." According to Su, the employer kept a close eye on the woman by staying near her at all times.
The employer allegedly boxed the woman's ears and shattered both eardrums. Her ears became so deformed that she reportedly could no longer wear a face mask properly. The beatings also led to blurred vision in both eyes, several broken and knocked-out teeth, and a bleeding head wound.
The assailant allegedly burned the victim's body with scalding hot water and refused to pay her salary. She was also allegedly forced into humiliating acts such as eating dog feces.
It was not until she was able to escape that she could inform her friends of the abuse and seek medical attention. According to the Shilin Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department, female migrant worker staff from the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei accompanied the victim to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to file a report.
She then filed a report with police on her injuries and prosecutors commenced an investigation into the employer for assault (傷害罪). The NIA was cited by ETtoday as saying that the woman is believed to be a victim of human trafficking, and it is assisting in her resettlement and proper care.
The NIA emphasized that everyone has the right to live free from fear and that the female migrant worker was subjected to human trafficking and other illegal actions. These infractions will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that those who have broken the law will be punished, in order to safeguard basic human rights.
Damage to victim's left ear. (Facebook, Breaking News Commune photo)
Screenshot from original Facebook post. (Facebook, Breaking News Commune image)