A woman admitted to striking her maid multiple times with clothes hangers, till they broke. The report of this recent maid abuse in Singapore came to light when another woman noticed the worker’s injuries.
The employer, Wang Xiahui, pleaded guilty on Monday (24 May) for voluntarily causing hurt to the domestic helper.
Ms Ngo Sabal, 25, began working for Wang Xiahui in March 2019. Her responsibilities include household chores and looking after Wang’s two young children. This was her first time working in Singapore.
Report Of Maid Abuse In Singapore: Woman Strikes Maid With Clothes Hangers Till They Broke
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Court documents expose the chronology of violence towards the FDW.
The employer began abusing Ms Sabal in May of 2019, when she hit her head twice. The following month, Wang hit her again five times and also kicked her in the groin area. Then in July, Wang hit Ms Sabal with part of a vacuum cleaner.
In the same month on 16 July, Wang developed chickenpox. To avoid contaminating the rest of the family’s clothes, she directed the maid to wash and dry her clothing by hand. But when Ms Sabal washed Wang’s clothes separately, she dried them together in the washing machine. Wang scolded her and told her to remove them.
Afterwards, Wang asked the maid to wash her dishes separately from her family’s. But Ms Sabal still used the same sponge for all the dishes.
Angry with the maid for misunderstanding her instructions, Wang struck Ms Sabal with a plastic hanger several times till it broke. She then beat her on her and back with two other plastic hangers till they also broke.
The employer then used a wooden hanger to strike the maid on her arm, back, thigh and head multiple times while shouting at her. Wang only stopped hitting her when this hanger also broke.
Afterwards, Ms Sabal was asked to discard the broken pieces in the rubbish chute. Deputy Public Prosecutor Janice See also tells the court that Wang did not take her to seek medical attention even with the bruises she developed from the beatings.
Two days after, Ms Sabal was approached by a 40-year-old woman at a playground. She rolled up the maid’s sleeves, only to be shocked by the bruises on her upper left arm.
When Ms Sabal confided in the woman and revealed that her employer hit her, the woman took photographs of her bruises and called the police on Wang.
Ms Sabal was then taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital so she could be treated for her injuries.
Woman Pleads Guilty For Abusing Maid
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Wang admitted guilt to the report of maid abuse in Singapore. However, District Judge May Mesenas, has called for a reassessment to check if she is suitable for a mandatory treatment order. This is because, Wang was diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Although, DPP See argued that Wang’s diagnosis by a psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) was based on her own reported symptoms.
Referring to an IMH report dated February 2021, and prepared by Wang’s psychiatrist, the employer claimed that she was just “playing” with Ms Sabal during her first two offences. Wang also claimed that she accidentally dropped the vacuum cleaner on the maid’s leg.
“The accused has demonstrated a propensity to colour events such that she is reflected in a positive light; such that her recount contradicts the particulars of the charges she is facing,” says DPP See as per Today.
It was also not confirmed in the IMH report if Wang’s mental disorder contributed to her offences.
For voluntarily causing harm to the maid, the prosecution is seeking eight weeks’ jail and a compensation order of $2,000. Wang will return to court on 21 June.