A harrowing viral 12-second video of an Ethiopian domestic worker hanging on to the edge of a windowsill as she begs for help, filmed by her Kuwaiti employer and shared on Snapchat, has sparked outrage on social media.
Initially reported as a suicide attempt, the domestic worker appeared on an Ethiopian TV broadcast Sunday, and from her hospital bed she said she wasn’t trying to end her life, but instead, “escape from the woman who tried to kill me.”
Having suffered a broken arm and found bleeding profusely from her ears and nose when she fell from the 7th story window ledge and onto a metal awning beneath, she is currently being treated for her injuries. In the footage of her fall, she is heard screaming “hold me, hold me,” while the employer calmly records the scene, even telling the worker, “Oh crazy, come back.”
The domestic worker had attempted to escape her employer’s house in the Sabah al-Salem neighborhood after she had been locked there for two days, shortly after she gave notice of her resignation, a member of the prosecutor’s office told Kuwait’s al-Qabas News.
Content note: graphic content.
1/ Shocking vid of Ethiopian domestic worker screaming 4 help just before falling 7floors down. Her female Kuwaiti employer simply films her
“Alhamdulillah, I was protected. And so, what can be done?”
The employer is being held by law enforcement, and the prosecutor is currently investigating whether she broke the law by not helping her domestic worker escape the fall. On Sunday, BBC reported that the employer faces two charges: filming an individual without consent and publishing a video of an individual without consent.
4/ Here is a video of the Ethiopian lady after the fall. There are reports that the employer is under investigatio
The exploitation of domestic workers in the region is widespread.The oil-rich Gulf state has more than 600,000 domestic workers. Many are from South Asia, and hundreds of complaints are made each year about abuse, mistreatment and the withholding of wages.
Kuwait, like many of the Gulf countries, practices “kafala,” a labor system where migrant workers have to rely on their employers for visa sponsorships and maintaining legal status. Critics have argued that the system creates a disparate relationship, making many workers vulnerable to abuse.