Police in West Semarang, Central Java is investigating allegations of horrific abuse suffered by a live-in domestic worker in the hands of her employers last year.
The alleged victim, who is identified as 20-year-old Ika Musriati, began working for a couple, identified by their initials RS and S, in August 2019. Ika told the media that she did not suffer any abuse during her first two months on the job, but her employers did not pay her salary at the end of her second month.
“I was beginning to feel at home. But in the third month they became violent and they tortured me. I was tortured everyday. I tried running away and asked for help from neighbors but they didn’t care,” Ika told Kompas yesterday.
According to Ika, RS and S forced her to eat 50 chili peppers on one occasion and drink boiling water on another. If they weren’t satisfied with her work, she said they would regularly kick and hit her. At one point, they told her to kill herself by slitting her wrist with a cutter, resulting in the six scars on her arm as seen in the above photo.
“I’m traumatized. If I have to go outside my parents have to come with me. I can’t go too far away from home. I’m scared to look at water because it reminds me of the torture,” Ika said.
In December, RS and S brought Ika to a police station after they accused her of stealing a phone. There, an officer grew suspicious upon seeing her injuries and took her to a hospital for an examination, which revealed that her vocal cord had been damaged, among other injuries.
Ika was eventually sent home to her parents. With a lawyer, they reported RS and S to the police, but the alleged abusers have yet to be arrested.
“This case has been open for four months. I want a swift resolution and the two culprits RS and S arrested,” Ika’s lawyer Deo Hermansyah said, adding that they demand the couple be charged with assault under the Criminal Code, which is punishable by up to five years and six months in prison.
West Semarang Police Chief Iman Sudiyantoro said an investigation into the case is ongoing.