It was her illness in June that helped Sherline (name changed to protect her identity as she works in a suburban firm), escape from the clutches of her father, Francis Gomes (60). Gomes had confined her, along with her two sisters and mother, in a flat for over seven years.
The 25-year-old Sherline, who now works and stays in Andheri, however, is very attached and protective about her father and does not want him to get into any trouble.
The Vasai police on Wednesday arrested Gomes after a non-governmental organisation (NGO) rescued her sisters and mother from their flat in Naigaon on Tuesday.
Sister Molly, the counsellor under whose observation Sherline stayed at Shanti Ghar, a shelter home in Andheri (East), for over a month, said it was a blessing in disguise when Gomes admitted her to Cardinal Gracious hospital in Vasai.
The members of an NGO came to know about her ordeal through one of Sherline’s neighbours and took her to Shanti Ghar. Gomes had then lodged a case of kidnapping against the NGO.
When Sherline first came to Molly, she resembled a skeleton with skin over it. “Also, she was mentally unstable and rarely spoke for over two weeks.” Once comfortable, she opened up and described the ordeal she had undergone.
Molly said Sherline, a graduate from a city college, was very protective about her father but bothered least about her mother. Sherline said her father was very caring at the same time and would do all their work.
“Sherline was hesitant to give a statement against her father to the police and it took a lot of efforts on the part of the NGO to convince her.”