KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Having a history of being abused or high level of stress and financial problems are the main factors contributing to abuse cases, including those involving employers and maids, according to psychologists.
Psychologists and Access Counselling Consultant Dr Meriam Omar Din said that individuals who had suffered abuse would have a tendency to do the same to others when they have the power.
“All the relevant factors that are driven by outrageous temper and uncontrolled emotions would also lead to the occurrence of abuse. It is more aggravating if the perpetrator has a past history of being abused.
“The term ‘abuse’ not only means physical abuse, but may also mean emotional abuse. Historically, emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse because we cannot see how the victim suffers,” she said when contacted by Bernama here yesterday.
Dr Meriam said this when asked to comment on the case of a maid, Adelina Lisio, 28, who died at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital in Penang on Sunday, believed to have been abused by her employers at a house in Bukit Mertajam.
According to reports, several neighbours claimed that the woman was forced to sleep with a Rottweiler dog at the porch for more than a month before she was sent to the hospital on Saturday.
Commenting further, Dr Meriam said the community should be the eyes and ears and should not be afraid to meddle in should they suspect something bad was happening in their neighbourhood.
“The time has come for people to shed the mind-your-own-business attitude in their own neighbourhood. What is worse is to have neighbours who only take video or pictures (of a crime) with the intention to make it viral, rather than to report it to the authority,” she said.
In the meantime, Dr Meriam suggested the government improve procedures for hiring maid by requiring employers to provide their health reports as well as personal information.
“This information is necessary for us to know if the employer has been jailed or has any criminal record,” she said.
Echoing Dr Meriam, Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital psychiatrist Dr Maruzairi Husain said solutions to the problems can only be found by knowing the cause of the abuse, and not by simply pointing fingers at the perpetrators.
“The perpetrator (employer) may act aggressively as a result of provocation. When the perpetrator loses control, they will resort to various forms of attack. It’s even worse when there is no one at the scene to calm the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Counselling Centre director, Dr Fauziah Mohd Sa’ad described maid abuse by employers as inhuman.
“Abusive act which could cause injury or death to other people should not be committed by any human being, regardless of one’s belief,” she said.
She explained that this group can also be categorised as a psychopaths for being able to torture others without any sense of guilt and sympathy, but they are able to manipulate the real facts to prevent themselves from being prosecuted. — Bernama