A Desperate Domestic Breaks Free
Trapped in an abusive situation while working for an illegal wage, a Filipina housekeeper makes a daring escape—followed by a desperate quest to reunite with her children.
Illustration by Marco Gallo
Judith Daluz packed her T-shirts and underwear into a plastic Food Emporium bag, preparing to leave forever. She hurried up Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, fumbling with her cell phone to call Josie, a housekeeper for another family who lived a few blocks up. Judith was following their plan. She was to leave her employer’s apartment at one p.m. so that she could get to Josie’s for lunch, walk Josie’s employer’s dog and pick his kids up from school, then wait in a restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue until five p.m. Another housekeeper working for a third family, Daisy, would pick Judith up, take her to Jamaica, Queens, and then Judith Daluz would officially be in hiding.
Judith was a housekeeper, tending to the family of a diplomat and his wife for the past year. The money she sent back to the Philippines helped securely move her own family into her home country’s middle class. Her kids could pick out clothes they felt comfortable in. She was putting her s…
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