Exclusive: Woman who moved to Ireland for 'better life' sexually abused by housemate: 'He told me that's the culture here'
- Claims she was sexually assaulted by man who said, 'That's the culture here'
- 'He molested me 4-5 times and attempted penetration twice'
- Told if she got pregnant, she would get 'money from Government'
A YOUNG woman who moved to Ireland in pursuit of a "better life" has claimed that she was sexually assaulted and told: "That's how things work here."
Originally from India, where she says men frown upon educated women and where her parents tried to arrange her marriage since she came of age, she thought moving here would be a step in a better direction.
However, she said her Irish experience has been severely tainted.
"If you get pregnant, the Government will give you a visa and you will get more money from them - that's how it works here," she was told by the man she claimed sexually assaulted her.
"He told me that in Europe foreigners get a passport if they live together for five or six years and they benefit if they get pregnant. But they take money for all this, it is a scam they run," she said.
She became housemates with this person after moving out of a home where the landlady would ask her: "Why are Indians so smelly?"
The 30-year-old has lived in four different houses since she moved here late last year.
"I was ready to start my new life with lots of dreams. I wanted to be self-dependent, but I have faced many bad experiences in Dublin; all which affected and ruined my studies and life. In India, I faced a lot of problems too. My family believed in arranged marriages. The qualities of a person does not matter, so I came here."
After distressing experiences in her first two homes, she moved into a city centre apartment, where she became housemates with the man who she claims sexually assaulted her.
Her new roommates, both male and female, were from India and Pakistan, but their views on Ireland's culture differed from hers, she said.
Sex before marriage is against her beliefs, but she was told that's "not how things work" in Ireland.
When she rejected the sexual advances of a man, she claims he forced himself on her, resulting in her having to go to the Mater Hospital.
"He molested me 4-5 times and attempted penetration twice," she claimed.
"Every time it was painful. There were cramps in my arms and legs. He gave me pain physically, mentally and emotionally."
He would tell her: "This is the culture of this country. You've to adapt, otherwise you can't survive".
The claims of sexual assault are currently being investigated by gardaí, but that is not the only thing she says they should be investigating.
After again having to find somewhere new to live, and having lost her deposits of €350 and €212.50 in the second and third places she lived, she was provided with another disturbing insight into the rental market here.
When house-hunting on Daft.ie, she contacted people from India who had adverts up.
It turned out that some of the adverts weren't for a room share, but a bed share.
"That's normal [sharing a bed] in Ireland, they would say," when she contacted them.
She has since found a home in north Dublin where she says she is "much happier".
During her terrible ordeal, she felt she couldn't talk to her family as they would say: "We told you so, you shouldn't have moved away".
While choosing to remain anonymous, she wanted to highlight how she has been mistreated.
"When I was small, I was told to stop speaking out loud. I wondered what was the purpose of my life. I feel so down and sad," she said.
"Now, I want justice for the people who bullied me, who assaulted me and abused me."
The Rape Crisis Helpline can be reached on 1800 778888