“Oh, crazy, come back.” Those would have been the last words heard by an Ethiopian maid in Kuwait if she had fallen to her death last Friday.
The Kuwaiti authorities are currently investigating the events surrounding a video of a woman calling for help before falling from the seventh floor of a building. The woman was an Ethiopian maid attempting suicide, but apparently changed her mind at the last minute and cried out for help. But while her life was hanging by four fingers, literally, her employer was recording without the making the slightest effort to help.
In the video, the maid can be heard screaming, “Hold me, hold me” before she slipped and fell onto a roof below. Thankfully, she did not appear to have sustained grave injuries save for a broken arm and a bleeding nose. In another video, she is seen being rescued by paramedics. Her employer is reported to have said she only recorded the incident because she did not want to be held accountable for her death if something had happened. However, what’s absurd is that she did not just record the entire incident for keeps, she went on to upload it on social media.
According to the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, the employer had a duty of rescue which she brazenly neglected. As reported by the BBC, the organisation also noted that the emirate’s penal code holds anyone liable who fails to come to the aid of a person in peril. Such persons are liable to a three-month jail term. Already, a lawyer had taken up the case saying she would file a complaint against the employer with the public prosecutor.
The Gulf state of Kuwait is quite infamous for its pooling number of domestic helps, many of whom are subjected to several forms of abuse. The Ethiopian maid is one of such mistreated helps and was only looking for a means of escape. “I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, I was trying to escape from the woman who tried to kill me,” the maid explained in a subsequent video published by an Ethiopian media outlet.
The Guardian reports that hundreds of domestic helps flee the homes of their employers annually due to abuse and that while some seek help from their embassies, others move into a shelter setup for them by the government.