In Singapore: Parents of abused toddler felt rage as they watched the CCTV footage
"I felt my emotions building up each time I saw her ill-treat my son. Seeing her turning, tossing and spinning my son made my heart break."
Parents of abused 14-month-old toddler revealed that they were always happy with their maid and that she was efficient and their child liked her. They even treated her like family. Up until they discovered, by chance, that their child had been abused on 15 separate occasions, through a CCTV camera in their home.
The parents, both in their 30s, said that the abuse came as a shock and they had a good relationship with their maid, Tursinah.
"We treated her well, and she even said that she felt like a part of our family. But she was a totally different person behind closed doors, someone we didn't know at all. There were no tell-tale signs of the abuse" said the father of the toddler.
The mother saw Tursinah lift her son out of his cot by his shirt when she decided to check the live CCTV footage from the boy's room on 4 Feb 2016.
Initially, the parents installed the CCTV with the intention of having "peace of mind" and to "stay connected" with their kids at home. They have two other older children and would watch the footage whenever they missed their kids.
The parents also revealed that Tursinah was never alone at home as their parents would come over everyday whenever they're at work.
She was only left alone with the boy when she has to put him to sleep in the evening and during his bath time.
The mother said: "I wanted to check if she was having trouble getting him to sleep as he had a late nap that day. I didn't want to open the door in case I disturbed him, so I checked the live footage on my phone."
After she saw Tursinah's rough handling of her child, she dismissed it as a one-off and told her to be gentler with the boy.
However, she felt uncomfortable and decided to check previous footages of the CCTV.
Her mum instincts were right as the CCTV showed other footages of Tursinah violently handling her child. After viewing a few days of footage, she could no longer bear to watch.
Her husband continued watching the footages until 5am the next day and as a couple, they decided to make a police report on February 6.
Their other two children reportedly stated that they have not experienced any form of abuse from Tursinah.
The father said he knew about Tursinah's conviction and sentence only when TNP approached them on Tuesday. He also mentioned that he had received a call from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on Wednesday informing him that Tursinah had been released from jail as the sentence had been backdated to Feb 8.
The couple said that Tursinah's claims of not getting paid for 5 months was not true as they were keeping the money for Tursinah. They kept the money in a safe and made sure she signed off each time they paid her. She was allowed to 'withdraw' money any time she wanted.
Additionally, they mentioned that they made the police report because they didn't want the same thing to happen to another family.
The Ministry of Manpower website advises employers not to hold their maids' salaries for safekeeping as this could lead to misunderstandings if things go wrong. It's guidelines also states that to avoid misunderstandings, employers should allow their maids to manage their own salaries.
Source: The NewPaper
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