Why the death of a maid found in a freezer should matter to you

Why the death of a maid found in a freezer should matter to you

Filipino maid found dead in freezer: police believe that the house worker was strangled to death, or even tortured before being stuffed inside a freezer.

We recently brought you the horrific story of an Indonesian helper who died after extensive abuse by her Malaysian employers. Now, another terrible story of helper abuse has come to light with reports of a maid found dead in freezer. 

The remains of a Filipino maid were discovered stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait. Police say that she might have been strangled or even tortured to death.

Maid found dead in freezer: she was brutally murdered

29-year-old Joanna Demafelis went to Kuwait back in 2014, to work as a helper for a married couple, Mona Hassoun from Syria, and her husband Nader Essam Assaf.

However, she lost contact with her family in 2016, and her sister reported her missing to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the Philippines.

OWWA agents tried to look for Joanna but were unable to find her. Additionally, the employment agency that recruited her had already closed down.

On February 7, her body was discovered after the property owner attempted to evict her employers, but instead found the home abandoned, and the maid found dead in freezer.

Her employers allegedly strangled and tortured her before hiding her body in the freezer.

The Philippines enacted a travel ban on Kuwait

maid found dead in freezer

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has said that cases of abuse “always” seem to come from Kuwait. | Photo screencapped from: Facebook

Nader Essam Assaf filed an absentee report about Joanna last year, and he and his wife left the country shortly after.

The Philippines enacted a total travel ban on Kuwait soon after her death.

We at theAsianparent are horrified and shocked at this latest report of helper abuse. Our hearts are with Joanna’s family and friends. 

Important tips for employers

We highlight incidents of domestics helper red flags to watch out for so that all parents can prevent these tragedies before they arise. 

But at the same time, just as helpers have responsibilities to their employers, employers also have responsibilities to their helpers. Our helpers’ welfare is linked with the care of our children and loved ones.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

1. Set expectations

It is important to set expectations early on and let your helper know what types of work they need to do. This will help avoid confusion regarding their tasks later on.

2. Provide constructive criticism

Nobody’s perfect, and people make mistakes. That’s why whenever your helper makes a mistake, it’s important to not humiliate them or be angry at them. Provide constructive criticism, and treat them with the respect they deserve.

3. Give them privacy

Respect your employee’s privacy. They might live in the same house as you, but let them have their personal time.

4. Discuss working hours

It’s important to discuss their working hours and days off as early as possible in order to avoid confusion later on. This helps prevent frustration as well as misunderstandings.

5. Respect their days off

If your helper is on their day off, make sure to encourage them to enjoy their free time. They’re entitled to having days off according to the law, so they need to take advantage of it. As responsible employers, you need to respect their days off.

6. Know the system

It’s important for employers to know the minimum wage, how much to give for food allowance, holidays that their helpers are entitled to, as well as their helper’s rights. This helps you become a responsible employer, and ensures that your helper will appreciate and respect you.

Additionally, here are some important helplines that you can contact if you see any maid or helper being mistreated by their employer:

These helplines include:


Source: CNN

Photo screencapped from Facebook

ALSO READ: 4 tips for hiring a foreign domestic worker

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Written by

Jan Alwyn

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