Psychologists such as Dr. Joseph Leon of Promise Healthcare have pointed to a “power divide” in which the maid abuser is usually the head of the household.
Therefore, other families may fear that the abuser will turn their fist on them or fear the consequences of their involvement if they report the abuse to authorities, says Mind What Matters Consultants. Clinical psychologist Lisia Tan told CNA.
Family members may also feel “loyalty” to the perpetrator, she added.
Psychologists also cited a familiar phenomenon called the bystander effect.
This means that someone is less likely to intervene in an emergency.
A common example is when people stop by the scene of an accident to take videos or photos, but do not help the victim.
Dr. Annabelle Chow of Annabelle Psychology said this could be a factor in people waiting in maid abuse situations.
“We logically expect others to be responsive when individuals are in distress, but that is often not the case,” she noted.
Dr. Chow said they may first assess whether the abuse is serious enough to justify their intervention, and whether they are responsible for intervening.
This depends not only on how you view the victim, but also on the abuser’s role within the family.
“Families may be less likely to intervene … if (the abuser’s) personality traits are dominant and imperative in nature. Or if the victim belongs to another, usually lower, class. If recognized as a person.”
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/maid-abuse-helper-bystander-effect-psychology-3092276 Why are some people on the sidelines when their loved ones abuse their maids?