What Happened Last Week: Annie Ee

View from Deutsches Museum Munich.

I don’t know for others, but I feel the case of Annie Ee struck a raw chord, in at least whoever cared enough to leave comments on the news that the perpetrators were finally convicted.

The fact that someone could actually suffer 8 months of physical abuse without anyone else feeling the need to bring more attention to the victim — Has our society grown to be so indifferent that when we see our friends and colleagues covered in injuries for a prolonged period of time, we didn’t even care (or perhaps, dare) to stop and ask what had happened?

Or the fact that a weak member of the society could so easily be manipulated and abused — what if one day one of us lose the ability to take care of ourselves or think for ourselves; can we trust that the people around us would not take advantage of our detrimental situation and provide us with the support we need instead?

Or perhaps the sad fact that Annie still believed the abusers were better than her own family, even though the latter tried to protect her (which was then twisted by the abusers to be a way of her family members stopping her from “leading her own way of life”).

Believe it or not, one of my main responsibilities as a prison officer back then was actually protecting the inmates who were ranked low in the social construct of the prison. We conducted musters few times a day and did strip search to check for signs of abuse. We made inmates greet us at the top of their voices so that I could detect who suffered internal/unseen injuries. We forbade inmates to “share” their food because, even though it reduced food waste, we could not afford the slight chance that a low-ranking inmate was forced to “give tributes” to the senior inmates and end up with no food for himself. We had to go through, frequently, the dreaded exercise of shuffling cells, so that we could extricate victims of abuse covertly.

Unfortunately, we cannot do such things out in the mainstream society. Which is kind of ironic, isn’t it?



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