Domestic workers earn a minimum of HK$4,630 (US$590) a month and must live with their employers in Hong Kong’s notoriously small flats.
Rights groups have long complained that they are easily exploited by unscrupulous employers and hiring agents.
They are only entitled to one day off a week and most take Sundays.
On their day off, Indonesian workers traditionally flock to the Causeway Bay district, while Filipinos tend to gather in nearby Central and Admiralty.
All three have become frequent flashpoints during this summer’s protests.
Sandy, an Indonesian worker, said she would often go hiking with friends on the trails that criss-cross Hong Kong.
But now she tends to stay closer to her employer’s home, fearful that the weekend clashes will disrupt transport and leave her stranded.
“If we go too far away, we worry that we can’t go home. We have a duty to be home at 10 or 9 pm,” she told AFP.
“We try to stay away for our own safety,” she added, recalling how she first encountered tear gas when she was stuck between demonstrators and police in Central and there were no subway services.
The protests were initially sparked by a now-shelved extradition law, but have morphed into calls for greater democracy and police accountability.
Violence on both sides has escalated, with police firing live rounds and hardcore protesters wielding petrol bombs and rocks.