Many households in Singapore tend to enlist the help of domestic helpers in an attempt to take care of their children or their elderly parents when they head off to work.
Most of us have no problems with these domestic helpers and even have good relationships with them.
I, for one, had good relations with my domestic helpers and up till today, I still keep in contact with one of them even though she has already returned to her home country to get married.
This is clearly the case for this household in which a domestic helper was allegedly filmed throwing a 5-year-old boy onto the grass twice because she was frustrated that the boy was misbehaving.
A 5-year-old boy ran out of his house in Punggol with a ball towards the field in an attempt to play on the morning of the 12th of March.
His domestic helper, a 24-year-old Indonesian, ran after him and picked him up while he struggled to break free. In response to this, she smacked his buttocks in hopes that he would stop struggling and that he would not fall off.
When this didn’t work, she decided that her next best course of action would be to intentionally throw the boy on the ground.
But she didn’t stop there; she picked him up and threw him on the ground once more. Afterwards, she carried the boy home.
Boy Had Reportedly Complained to His Mother
After the incident, the boy complained of chest pains and told his mother that their domestic helper threw him on the ground.
This was, however, countered by the helper; she claimed that the boy just rolled on the grass, so the mother decided not to pursue the matter further.
How Was It Reported?
This was thankfully filmed by a 32-year-old Chinese national who witnessed the encounter. She posted the video onto a WeChat group, and it was later shared on Facebook and on Stomp, where it became viral.
The victim’s mother saw the video on Facebook two days later and recognised her son and the domestic helper, so she proceeded to make a police report, mentioning that she had just found out that her son was abused by her domestic helper.
The boy was later taken to the hospital on 15 March and it was reportedly found that he had mild tenderness over his spine and chest area.
The Court Hearing
The domestic helper, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the child, has been sentenced to a jail term of eight months yesterday (20 August 2019). She pleaded guilty to one charge of wilfully inflicting pain on a child under the Children and Young Persons Act.
She teared up as she told the judge through an interpreter that she would like to apologise to her employer for treating her child that way and pleaded for a lighter sentence.
She could have been jailed up to four years and fined a maximum of $4,000 for mistreating the boy.
With that being said, while we all do try our best to give our utmost trust to our domestic helpers because not all of them are like this, we should still be alert and observe the situation when our family tells us that they have been abused by them.