Abused Filipina Helper Working in Iraq Rescued After Cry For Help on Facebook Live

A Filipina domestic helper was recently rescued from an abusive household in Iraq after making a frantic plea for help using Facebook’s live video streaming.

Alice Aguilan aired her grievances on Dec. 22 after being beaten by her employer’s relative who also works as a helper in the house in Baghdad. In her live-stream, Aguilan said she was punched and choked by the man, identified as Hammode Alsamawi, for not finishing the tasks he ordered her to do.

While Alsamawi was in the middle of a ritual prayer, Aguilan narrated on video how she gets physically assaulted whenever her employers were not at home. After the man finishes praying, he went on to attack Aguilan again by pulling her hair, hitting and kicking her. A younger man appears and was able to intervene and pull the employee’s relative away. He returned a few seconds later to make slashing motions at his throat, as if to threaten her.

She lamented that despite telling her male employer, Mazen Junis Alsamawi, about the incident, her complaints were reportedly brushed aside as he was too busy with his visitor. In her plea, Aguilan sought the help of the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, which immediately came to her rescue after viewers of her live broadcast relayed her tearful plea to the embassy officials.

Within just minutes from her broadcast, she was provided medical assistance and taken to a local police station to file a report of the incident, local news platform Inquirer reports. However, she accepted a settlement instead of filing a case since she turned out to be an undocumented foreign worker. 

Aguilan, a widow, was very appreciative of the Philippine Embassy’s quick response and posted a video thanking those who helped her. 

She was able to return home to her four children and two grandchildren in their hometown of Santa Cruz, Laguna in the Philippines on Dec. 26.

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