A story of survival and surprise blessings
A cheerful Beatriz showed up for the Bantay OCW program at the Inquirer Radio studio early this month, seven years since she escaped harrowing abuse in a household in Saudi Arabia.
In 2007, Beatriz’ mother went to Bantay OCW to plead for assistance to rescue her daughter, who had secretly phoned the family in the Philippines and told them she was being raped by her employer’s husband and son. They threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
When Bantay OCW learned about the problem, it immediately informed the Philippine Embassy. A rescue operation was set up.
Beatriz was rescued. But when embassy officials called and requested her to appear at the embassy, Beatriz was overcome with fear and denied the charges against her male employee and the son. She said nothing happened to her, even adding that her mother was only making up the story. But she pleaded with her employer to let her go home.
If she was not being molested and sexually abused, there was no reason to send her home, countered her employer. If she wanted to leave, she would have to pay them back P100,000 to refund what was paid to the agency when they hired her and covered her airfare to return home.
Beatriz later explained that she could not tell the truth because she feared for her life.
Upon hearing that, Bantay OCW pleaded with the recruitment agency to immediately send Beatriz a plane ticket. The Philippine Embassy agreed to prepare the documents she would need. Beatriz made it back to the country.
She later came to Bantay OCW to apologize for her strange behavior after her rescue. She explained that she thought that if she pursued the case, the wife might kill her. She wanted to get out of Saudi alive.
Despite her harrowing experience, Beatriz did not give up. She continued to work overseas, taking on contracts in other Asian countries and Europe. She met a European guy who proposed marriage to her. Beatriz is now happily living with her husband and their two children. We wish Beatriz the best and are happy she did not forget to visit us again at Bantay OCW to share her story of survival, perseverance and life’s surprise blessings.
Susan Andes, also known as Susan K., can be heard over Inquirer Radio, dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 am-12:00 noon. Audio/video live streaming is at www.ustream.tv/channel/dziq. Helpline: 0927- 6499870
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