RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A 23-year-old Filipina household service worker (HSW) is appealing for help after she suffered horrific burns on her body after her employer doused her with boiling water.
Photos of Fatma (not her real name), showing burns on her back and legs, were posted by her cousin on Facebook last Saturday (May 17). These photos went viral, with many netizens expressing support and prayers for Fatma.
Photo from PEBA, Inc. (Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards) 's facebook page.
Fatma, who is from Pikit, North Cotabato, said she had been working for the Arab family for only two months before the incident. She was not given her salary or provided with proper meals.
"Yong mga tirang mga pagkain nila, sabi ng amo kong matanda, itapon ko daw. Ang ginagawa ko lang po, hindi ko itinatapon, iniipon ko, para kung magutom po ako sa pagtatrabaho ko, `yun po ang kinakain ko," she told ABS-CBN News.
Last May 4, her employer's mother got angry after Fatma did not immediately bring her coffee.
The old woman grabbed the thermos and poured boiling water on Fatma.
It took a few hours before she was even brought to the hospital to be treated for her burns.
On her third day being treated at the hospital, Fatma secretly gave a nurse a piece of paper with her older sister's phone number in the Philippines.
Her sister was able to give the nurse the number of her relatives in Riyadh.
When her employer again brought her to the hospital for treatment, Fatma's cousin was able to rescue her.
Her cousin took care of Fatma, and also posted the photos on Facebook.
Fatma, who has children ages 11 months and 4 years old back in the Philippines, appealed for help in filing a case against her abusive employer.
"Please lang po tulungan n'yo ako. Tulungan n'yo po akong makasuhan yong mga amo ko.... Kasi sobrang hirap po `yung ginawa nila sa akin," she said.
For now, Fatma is in the custody of the Assistance to Nationals section of the Philippine embassy. A representative from the Department of Social Welfare and Development said they are providing Fatma with food, clothing, toiletries and medicine.