MASERU — A 17-year-old former maid from Lithoteng last week told the police how her employer sexually assaulted her on a daily basis whenever his wife was away at work in Thaba Tseka.
The former maid claimed the suspect (employer), who is a civil servant, also threatened to shoot her with his service pistol and then commit suicide, if she dared report the matter to his wife or the police.
He also told the maid having sex with her was part of her job, it is alleged.
According to the police, months later, the former domestic worker summoned courage and confided in her friend who advised her to report the matter to the police.
“The assault began sometime early this year up until August, when she decided to quit her job as advised by her friend,” police spokesperson Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane said last Friday.
Last week, she approached the Child and Gender Unit at the police headquarters for guidance before she was referred to Lithoteng Police Station where an investigation was launched.
Ramarikhoane said the suspect, who is in his 30s and is a father of three, was interviewed by the police and investigations are in progress.
“The former domestic worker claimed whenever the wife was away at work, the suspect would sneak into her bedroom every night to assault her. She also claimed the suspect never used protection during the assault.”
In an interview last Friday, Officer Commanding the Child and Gender Unit, Inspector ‘Malebohang Nepo said cases of sexual assault and harassment of domestic workers are common countrywide.
“The major challenge is that the bulk of the cases go unreported because the workers are afraid of losing their jobs and also afraid to stand up to the perpetrators.”
Nepo urged all domestic workers not to tolerate any form of abuse or harassment: “Remaining silent can mean they are protecting the perpetrator or they do not value themselves enough to care about the serious consequences that can come with their silence or continued assault.
“They can be infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, have unwanted pregnancies and also be blamed in future for keeping the abuse a secret,” Nepo said.