SINGAPORE: Thinking that her newly hired maid was "smelly", a woman allegedly forced the 18-year-old woman to strip and shower in front of her.
Over about three months, 31-year-old Rosdiana Abdul Rahim allegedly abused the Indonesian helper, pinching her breast, kicking her private parts and trying to rip her clothes off in front of others to "humiliate" her.
The woman claimed trial on Thursday (Apr 2) to seven charges, including criminal intimidation, insulting a woman's modesty, using criminal force, voluntarily causing hurt and failing to give her domestic worker adequate daily rest.
The victim, who is now 21, took the stand on Thursday morning and gave her testimony through an interpreter, crying often at various points.
She described the alleged abuse that occurred between September and December 2017, ending when she made a police report.
According to the victim, she came to Singapore to work for the first time in September 2017 and began working for Rosdiana, her husband and their two children.
She claimed that she was paid S$600 a month but made to sleep at various points on a carpet or outside a toilet, without a pillow or blanket.
She also slept under a cupboard, and initially used her own batik cloth as a blanket, but Rosdiana threw this away as she said "it was smelly".
"Ma'am didn't believe that I showered daily," said the maid. "I said I bathe every day but she didn't believe me. She asked me how I bathe and shower myself."
EMPLOYER PUSHED MAID INTO BATHROOM
In November 2017, Rosdiana allegedly pulled the maid's arm and pushed her into a shower in the master bedroom.
"She used the shower head and turned on the water. I was still wearing my clothes at the time," testified the victim. "Then she took the shower head and spray all over me."
She said Rosdiana applied "a lot of shampoo" all over her head, before asking the maid to take off all her clothes.
"I removed my clothes. I was crying inside the shower," said the victim, her voice breaking and tears falling from her eyes.
She said she removed all her wet clothing, with Rosdiana seeing her completely naked.
She then saw Rosdiana's husband enter the room while she was still in the shower, but was unsure whether he saw her.
"Ma'am said - 'My husband won't be interested'," said the maid.
After this, she said Rosdiana would not let her change into clothes in the bathroom, but had to put them on in the bedroom while Rosdiana's husband was outside and could see her.
She felt afraid, alone and humiliated and felt she had "lost my value".
On another occasion in November 2017, Rosdiana asked for some food as she had eaten only four pieces of biscuits that morning.
ANOTHER ATTACK OVER INSTANT NOODLES
She ate half a portion of instant noodles meant for Rosdiana's son, and the boy's grandmother asked the maid to smack her own mouth 10 times and pull her ears 20 times.
When Rosdiana found out, she was furious, said the maid.
"She wanted to humiliate me in front of everyone. She tried to rip open my clothes, until some of the buttons were open," she said.
Rosdiana allegedly tried to remove the maid's bra from the back by reaching up under the back of her blouse, but the maid pushed her hand away.
According to charge sheets, a button came loose from her blouse and one of the bra hooks came off.
On another occasion, Rosdiana allegedly told the victim that "you are looking ugly" and asked her to fetch some baby powder.
She then spread baby powder all over her face, into her eyes, and asked her not to remove it, threatening harm to her family otherwise.
ROSDIANA ALLEGEDLY KICKED MAID'S PRIVATES
The victim testified that Rosdiana was upset with her on Dec 11, 2017, as she was not unpacking suitcases from a hotel stay quickly enough.
"She ripped my clothes - at the time I was wearing a T-shirt. She pulled the T-shirt, then she pinched my breast," said the maid.
"I tried to cover my body, because her husband was there. She said my breast was small unlike hers, her husband would not be interested," said the victim.
"She said my underwear, my clothes, are smelly. ... She kicked my private parts, and the second time she did, I almost tripped and fell," she said. "I was crying. I stood up and she continued scolding me."
The victim said she went to take clothes to change into, but Rosdiana slammed the cupboard door on her hand, knowing that it was there.
The trial continues in the afternoon.
If found guilty of insulting a woman's modesty, Rosdiana can be jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.
For voluntarily causing hurt to a maid, Rosdiana can be jailed for up to two years, fined a maximum S$5,000, or both.
The penalties for the above can go up to one-and-a-half times of the usual range as the victim was a maid.
If convicted of using criminal force, she can be jailed for up to three months, fined up to S$1,500, or both.
For not giving her maid adequate daily rest and ill-treating her, she can be jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum S$10,000, or both.