A victim of physical violence

DUBAI — She came to the UAE to work as a housemaid two months ago, leaving behind her two children in Sri Lanka. But when 34-year-old Meenavodhai landed herself a job in Dubai, through an agent, little did she know her sponsor would beat her everyday.

By Preeti Kannan (FOCUS ON AMNESTY)

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Published: Mon 30 Jul 2007, 8:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:23 AM

The young Sri Lankan Tamil Muslim came to this country as she was unable to support her two young kids, after her husband divorced her.

“The owner of the house used to beat me everyday for no reason at all. After working for her for two months, I ran away as I was unable to bear it any more,” she says while sobbing.

Meenavodhai then sought refuge with some Sri Lankan women she knew, also housemaids. She had been staying with them for the last 10 days, but they have all left for Sri Lanka. “These women took pity on me and let me stay with them. I bought myself a return ticket for August 8,” she says.

Now, with them gone back, she has no place to go, though she has got her outpass and her immigration clearances. She was at the Sri Lankan Consulate on Sunday with all her bags, hoping to find some shelter.

“I don’t know where to go till I catch the flight to Sri Lanka. I do not know anyone in this country. I have only Dh100 left with me,” she weeps.

The Sri Lankan Consulate usually houses stranded, migrant female labourers in safe houses till they can go back. However, they do so only if they approach them immediately after they run away, instead of seeking interim shelter elsewhere, according to the consulate.

Meenavodhai is now waiting with all her belongings and is looking for a temporary place before she can return to her two young children.

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