Police in Probolinggo, East Java are investigating the alleged abuse of a domestic worker, who escaped alleged horrible live-in conditions with her employers recently.
According to the police, the victim, 44-year-old Pariyem, had worked for her employers, identified by their initials U and M, at their home for eight years. Pariyem's 12-year-old daughter also lived with her at the house.
During that time, Pariyem said she was locked inside the house and was constantly overworked and denied her basic rights, including her pay. Pariyem also said she suffered physical abuse during her time there.
Early Tuesday morning, Pariyem said she was hungry and jumped out of the second floor of her employers' house to look for food outside. She was later found by local residents as she foraged food scraps outside a nearby Pizza Hut.
"She jumped because she was hungry and looking for food. Locals then dug for information and Pariyem said she often didn't eat at her employers' home so she would go out to look for scraps in rubbish bins. In addition, her salary as a domestic worker was not paid for years," Mayangan sub-precinct chief Suharsono said yesterday.
Locals and police then confronted U and M, who denied they abused Pariyem. But the married couple agreed to pay IDR12 million (US$854.29) in owed salary to Pariyem, claiming that they did not previously hand her the money as they were holding on to it on her behalf due to her not owning a bank account.
Pariyem and her daughter now live at a relative's home. At the request of her family and neighbors, Pariyem then pressed charges against U and M for the alleged physical abuse. Police say they have begun an investigation into the allegation.
Whether in Indonesia or abroad, many Indonesian domestic workers have suffered dehumanizing and abusive treatments in the hands of their employers.