Abuse big concern

2015-11-04 12:38
PLYING THEIR TRADE: Prostitutes selling sex on the side of the road at Dinaweng outside Bloemfontein. Photo: Jeanette Chabalala

PLYING THEIR TRADE: Prostitutes selling sex on the side of the road at Dinaweng outside Bloemfontein. Photo: Jeanette Chabalala

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A 23-YEAR-OLD sex worker’s clients have throttled, beaten and abused her.

From 09:00 to 17:00 each day, she stands on the side of the road, selling sex for R50 in the Dinaweng township in Bloemfontein.

The 23-year-old said poverty and unemployment had made her resort to selling her body. She started at the age of 17 and never stopped because the money was too good.

“My parents don’t see eye to eye, and they never really did anything for me. I stayed with my friends. I needed to feed myself and also buy clothes so that I can be like other people,” she said.

She had a part-time job doing gardening that paid her R180 a month, which was far too little.

She said being abused by clients was a sex worker’s main concern.

“We don’t work at night because no one can protect us. The work that we do is very dangerous and every girl here is aware of that.”

Approximately 20 other girls use the stretch of the M30 Road with her. These girls are from different parts of the country as well as from Lesotho.

The women take their clients to the side of the road, a few metres from the residential area where there is no privacy.

Another woman spoken to became a sex worker in 1998.

“My parents couldn’t afford to take care of me so I needed to take care of myself and my son. Our community has a lot of unemployment.”

Although she has had the desire to stop, she earns enough money to support herself and her son. Both women said the government and places of worship had failed to assist them.

“What we want is to get decent jobs that will take us out of poverty,” they said.

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