Maid sentenced to 10 months jail for having sex with employer’s teenage son
On Tuesday (22 Sept), a 28-year-old domestic worker from Indonesia has been jailed for 10 months for having sex with a 14-year-old minor.
As it happened
According to local media reports, the domestic worker started working for the boy’s family on 3 July. She arrived in Singapore earlier in June. On the evening on 5 Sept, the boy was home with the woman and another foreign domestic helper. His parents and uncle were out.
The boy was showing card tricks to the woman who then tried to hug him. He moved her hand away. Later, when the boy was in his room, the domestic worker removed the boy’s clothes, and led him to his bed where she proceeded to have sex with him.
She only stopped when she heard the boy’s uncle return home. The boy told his father what happened later that night.
Freak incident or spillover problem?
While this may be a disturbing isolated freak incident in Singapore, it could also point to a bigger social problem of Indonesian domestic workers’ lack of sexuality education.
The domestic worker had just arrived a month prior to working for the family. In Indonesia, the lack of sexuality education has contributed to the nation’s rising abortion and HIV rates. Currently, sexual education in Indonesia is taught only within other classes, such as biology.
“Here [in Indonesia], sex is considered taboo, and as a result talk about sex is filled with myths,” said Mariana Amiruddin, the director of an Woman’s Journal organisation in a news report. Mariana is pushing for sex education to be taught in schools.
Another report on Global Post revealed that abortion in about 20 percent more prevalent in Indonesia than in Southeast Asia as a whole. One third of these abortion cases are from women ages 10 to 40.
In the society where sex and sexuality does not receive enough public attention, social and health problems of unsafe sex, wanted pregnancy, early marriage, unsafe abortions and cases of HIV are on the rise say reproductive rights advocates.
Singapore employment of Indonesian workers
Indonesians make a large bulk of the foreign domestic workers employed in Singapore. There are about 125,000 Indonesian domestic workers and 70,000 Filipino domestic workers in Singapore, reports show.
While they receive training on household chores and communication classes that would be necessary for them to carry out work-related tasks, perhaps maid employment agencies should also consider sexuality education and cultural programmes in order to bridge any gap in knowledge. More often than not, these domestic workers do not have the opportunity to attend school back home and may not have much knowledge about sex and sexuality until too late.
What happens on our neighbour’s backyards affects us too. So instead of simply pointing pitchforks and criminalising the domestic worker, Singapore should also look at how we can prevent such situations from ever unfolding again.
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