SINGAPORE - When you sign up to be a domestic helper, you would expect, among other things, to be treated with some dignity.
So imagine Ms Rinonos Analyn Almoite's humiliation when a mother yanked down her shorts and panties in front of the children, who began laughing.
The reason for her punishment: The woman, Wong Pui Kwan, was upset that Ms Rinonos had not cleaned her daughter's mouth properly after feeding her.
After enduring weeks of abuse, this was the last straw for the Filipino maid.
When the others were still asleep one morning in December 2011, she and the family's other maid, Ms Su Su Han, who is from Myanmar, took the opportunity to run away. They later reported the incidents of abuse to the police.
Yesterday, Wong, 28, a former property agent who is now jobless, was jailed for a year for abusing the two domestic workers.
She admitted to six charges of causing hurt, using criminal force, committing a rash act to endanger personal safety of the victim, and insulting the victim's modesty in her father's flat at Block 200B, Sengkang East Road.
Another seven charges, including two of voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Su, were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Both maids were employed by Wong's father. Ms Su, 34, joined the household in May 2011, and Ms Rinonos, 28, in September that year.
The court heard that the abuse by Wong began in October.
Investigations showed that the maids shared a room with Wong's three children aged between four and one.
The maids' daily routine was to wake up at 7am and go to bed at 2am.
Whenever they made mistakes like forgetting to switch off the lights, Wong would deduct money from their salaries. Since they started work, they had received only about $60 in allowance.