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15 April 2024

Maid's Poison: Drugs, soap in infant milk, bugs...

By Maryam Alyammahi

There are several different crimes housemaids commit against their employers’ families, according to an expert.

Hessa Belaama, a social expert with Sharjah Police, said, “I have seen many cases. The most common crimes that housemaids commit are related to witchcraft, food poisoning, molestation, using sharp objects to harm children, and hitting them, etc.”

“For example, there was an unusual case reported from Khor Fakkan recently, where a housemaid added soap to the milk formula of two infants. Soon the babies showed symptoms of poisoning and were rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, they survived.”

Hessa said, “There have been cases where housemaids mix drugs, urine and even bugs to their employers’ food.”

Hessa was speaking at the fifth Family Forum on ‘The moral and crime problems of Housemaids’.

There are a number of reasons that drive housemaids to commit such crimes, she opined, such as their psychological state of maid, which could result from situations including conditions in their home countries;  family issues or even the new place of work.

All of these will have an impact on these women who leave their home and come and live in a foreign country with families they do not know and whose language they do not understand. Hessa said, in such a scenario if the employers do not make them feel secure and comfortable, it could only add to their psychological problems.

And househelps tend to react differently. For instance, in Dalma area of Abu Dhabi, a maid stabbed her employer to death for no obvious reason. Or they simply resort to child abuse.

Hessa recommends several measures to reduce such crime, such as…

1 Instal surveillance cameras at home. This is the most important thing to have inside and outside homes to monitor housemaids.

2 Learn enough about the maids’ backgrounds, and make sure that they have no criminal records before hiring them.

3 Never hire runaway maids, because if they could do it once, they will not hesitate in repeating it.

4 Do not humiliate maids without reason.

5 Treating them well is key to making them love the family as their own.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)