New Taipei City Police Department, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps
New Taipei City Police Department, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 42-year-old Taiwanese woman and her 66-year-old mother were arrested in New Taipei City for allegedly brutally beating their 22-year-old Indonesian caregiver during more than five months of abuse that ended in January.

The employer hired a domestic worker named Nita last September to take care of her elderly mother, who had been diagnosed with dementia, The Liberty Times reported.

On her first day on the job, the worker, whose mobile phone was reportedly immediately confiscated, was informed that she also had to look after her employer’s three-month-old son because she had to work full-time as a supervisor of a technology firm.

Between September and January, the victim, who claimed she was only paid NT$300 (less than US$10) a month after a series of unexplained deductions, was allegedly forced to work from 7am to 1am daily. She had no days off and was not allowed to go out.

On one occasion, Nita was seen to have applied some cream to relieve pain in her finger, which she had injured while doing chores. Her employer accused her of theft and beat her with a clothes hanger.

After that, whenever the employer or her mother was dissatisfied with Nita, who did not have relevant experience in caring for an infant, the pair would physically assault her, sometimes by beating her buttocks with a pipe or a clothes hanger, or by throwing a thermal flask at her. If she dared to cry, she would be beaten harder.

The abuse lasted until January, when Nita finally complained that the injuries to her buttocks would not heal. She was taken to a hospital, where medical workers suspected abuse case as the victim was covered in old and new wounds and bruises all over her body.

The skin of her buttocks was damaged by infection and fractures were noted in her toes.

New Taipei police arrested the pair on suspicion of violating the Human Trafficking Prevention Act and inflicting injuries on the caregiver.

The Labor Affairs Department of the New Taipei City Government arranged new accommodation for Nita and gave her NT$100,000 (US$3,250) in humanitarian aid. The department has also been following up her case, fighting for outstanding wages, payment of the victim’s medical costs, and compensation.

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