Monika, a 23-year-old Indonesian from Pontianak in West Kalimantan province, claims she got a beating for refusing to have sex with her 28-year old Chinese husband whom she married through a matchmaking service.
Introduced by a matchmaker who promised her a good life as the wife of the man from China Monika says besides the marital violence, her mother-in-law physically and verbally abused her at the family’s home in Heibei province, 122km northeast of Beijing.
She says she received 17 million rupiah (US$1,200) for marrying the man but it was 10 months of turmoil for her.
South China Morning Post reports she is one of the 29 Indonesians who were tricked into marriage and unpaid labour in China by human trafficking rings over the past year.
The Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union, an advocacy group says their stories add to those of thousands of other women from across Southeast and South Asia caught in such scams.
Last week, China said that it rescued 1,147 foreign victims of human trafficking, including 17 children, who came from countries including Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, says the paper.
My mother-in-law is a scary person, I am still traumatized when I think about her to this day – Monika
Authorities detained 1,332 suspects, accused of organising 126 fraudulent marriages and falsely getting a marriage, employment, or tourist visas. Monika had a tourist visa when she entered China and she recounted she agreed to the marriage.
The ‘matchmaker’ roped her in the human trafficking ring with promises she could send money and have a good life in China.
“The matchmaker told me I could send money to my parents and that my husband would give me an allowance. She also said that I could return home and visit my parents any time.”
Once in China, she signed some documents, thinking she had got engaged and that a wedding would follow but she moved into the family’s home only to realise she had been lied to.
The husband did not make 10 million rupiah a month but was a construction worker and every day from 7am to 7pm, it was her ‘scary’ mother-in-law who forced her to make paper flowers.
The paper says the latter cut her access to the internet thus making it impossible for her to contact her family but that she learned how to say she wanted to go to the local police station from a friend online. Through this, she hailed a taxi and went to the local police station.