Ramaphosa's regressive prostitution statement

in order to bring respect and dignity to them and protect their human rights. In the first place DFL does not see it as the duty or the right of individual members of government to reprimand the police for maintaining law and order. That kind of behaviour would fit in with an autocratic form of government, something of which South Africans have become extremely aware of recently. We would also encourage Mr Ramaphosa to consult with all role players that will represent the whole spectrum of opinions on the matter, before starting to make public statements that create the impression of nullifying existing legislation and create the impression that he is being led by the nose by one or two pressure groups. Keep in mind that The Constitutional Court in S v Jordan and Others in 2002 (6) SA 642 decided that the criminalization of prostitution does not amount to unfair discrimination. It would seem that Mr. Ramaphosa does not trust the findings of the constitutional court. Policy shapers would do well to keep in mind that there are certain “rights” that no decent society would allow individuals to exercise e.g. the right to sell yourself into slavery or the right to sell your organs. The reason being that we do not want to create a society where the poor can be accused of not having tried their best to get out of poverty because they have not yet sold themselves or any of their organs. No wonder, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen stated: “Almost five years after the lifting of the brothel ban, we have to acknowledge that the aims of the law have not been reached.” Instead we find ourselves “in the midst of modern slavery”. In the past 10 years that DFL have been helping women to exit prostitution and provide them with skills training, we have found the reality of prostitution to be very different from the picture Mr Ramaphosa may have. Poverty is by far the most common cause why girls from rural areas are flocking to the cities and selling themselves to ruthless pimps and madams and clients who exploit them. Starting off with R500 per client and soon selling themselves for R10 per client. Once a woman has reached that point they will do anything to make money because they have no other skill and are often addicted to drugs. A client just need to offer R20 for unprotected sex and they will jump for it even if they have a dozen condoms in their pockets. Most of these girls anyway know by then exactly at which filling stations or other public places they can get access to free condoms. PTSD is the most serious mental disorder that psychologists can measure in a human. Numerous studies have come out over the last few decades that demonstrate a relationship between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and prostitution. The prevalence off PTSD furthermore remains consistently between 60{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} and 86{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} whether prostitution is practiced in a legal or illegal setting, with Columbia, one of the countries where it is legal, leading the pack at 86{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. (Compare this to the prevalence amongst war veterans of maximum 67{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) Linda Fairstein, a Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor, mentioned that studies characterize the violence that emanates from prostitution as “brutal, extreme, common, stunning, normative, and ever-present…”. Indeed, physical and sexual violence across prostitution types is pervasive—whether one is prostituting in Chennai or Chicago, indoors or outdoors, for drugs or to pay the rent, on a street corner, in a car, back alley, brothel, massage parlour, or strip club—both the threat of, as well as actual violence, permeate everyday existence in the zone. As long as this violence is contained within the context of the sex trade, where women and other prostituting persons become public sexual property, their trauma is commonly and conveniently reduced to an “occupational health issue” or “workplace violence.” This is a cruel and unjust euphemism. Imagine what would happen if 25{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, 50{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, or 89{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the females working in schools, financial or medical institutions, at your local supermarket, or favourite restaurant were subject to the same kinds of violence. Would the world tolerate the phenomenon, tell women that the violence was merely an on-the job hazard, describe their rape as theft of their sexual services or thrust the responsibility for the violence on them by coaching them on a myriad of methods to reduce the risk of violence? Such a response is unimaginable for women outside the zone of prostitution, but for women and others inside the commercial sex trade such perversity is the stuff of daily life. Without question, the vast majority of physical and sexual violence inflicted on those in the sex trade is perpetrated by those purchasing persons for sex— the sex buyers. While sex buyers may be the principle perpetrators of this savagery, in many cases their exercise of violence is given license by institutions, societies, and governments that establish and endorse various regimes of legal and decriminalized prostitution. Full decriminalization of prostitution, in which the laws regulating the activities of pimps, sex buyers and sellers are eliminated, represents the most egregious and shocking response to the commercial sex trade. Such an approach transforms pimps into entrepreneurs and sex buyers into mere customers. While decriminalization may redefine deviant and criminal behaviour, it is incapable of transforming pimps into caring individuals who have the best interests of prostituting persons at heart, or metamorphosing sex buyers into sensitive, thoughtful, and giving sexual partners. Decriminalization of prostitution is powerless to change the essential, exploitive nature of commercial sex, and tragically grants it free rein. Legalizing sex work as a “job” or a “business” only benefits brothel owners and customers seeking sex making their work easier and granting them a veneer of legitimacy. It will give them “full license” to condone violence, sexual abuse — including rape — and verbal abuse that is commonly perpetuated on vulnerable people. Many women’s rights advocates propose instead a stiffening of penalties for johns and pimps. One wonders whether the handing out of condoms to women caught up in the modern day slavery of prostitution might not be compared to providing slaves with light-weight chains in order to diminish the harm caused by their heavy metal chains. Would it not be more appropriate to get to the condom issue after having dealt thoroughly with the hundreds of thousands of poor rural girls being trafficked daily for sex and having commended and encouraged the police to more vigorously enforce the existing legislation or brought in heavier fines for pimps, madams and clients that are buying sex from these vulnerable girls.   Doctors For Life International is an association of more than 1600 specialists and medical doctors. Doctors For Life endeavors to promote public health by upholding sound science in the medical profession. For more information, please visit www.doctorsforlife.co.za]]>

LifePlace Team

Picture1Firstly we would like to thank everybody who has supported the LifePlace project in any way. As many of you may know, LifePlace in Durban has closed due to a conglomeration of various factors. In spite of this, the outreach team is still steaming ahead with weekly outreaches to reach out to women on the street, and on average, we speak to about 30 ladies per outreach. They have many different problems, ranging from homelessness and drug addiction, to being HIV positive, pregnant as well as being physically and emotionally broken through abuse. Many of them say that they are like zombies being dragged along by their addictions, but that they cannot help themselves. They also say that even though they know what they are doing is wrong, they don’t know how to get out and live a different life. There are many instances where we have been able to help the girls in different ways. Some have started working and are off the streets, others have had their relationships with their families restored, while some have even been rescued from death itself. There is much work to be done but there are just a few labourers. The  team that often goes out has a passion and a heart for the lost, and we are very thankful for all the effort they put into the work.  ]]>

Testimony

Testimony of Linda Parker I would like to tell you just how God saved me from the jaws of hell! My real name is Linda, but as a prostitute my name was Lisa. So I was known as Lisa in Albany Grove where I worked as a ‘money maker’. I used to stay in a room at the bottom of a block of flats; this room had no lights, no water and was infested with rats. My Nigerian “boss” promised me that I would only stay there until month end and then we would move to a delux apartment. This never happened. I ended up staying there for a year and 6 months. During that year I was dependant on a wake -up drug which I would get every night before I went out. I was also pregnant at that time and took the drugs gladly oblivious to the well being of the baby. The Nigerian would get anxious if I refused the wake up and sometimes he would convince me to take it. At other times if I refused it he would stand on the street with me in case I wanted to run-way. I was very fortunate with this Nigerian because he never beat me like how other girls got beaten. I would steal and rob in order to stay in his good books and so he called me ‘money-maker’. There also came a time when I was “hallucinating”, or that is what I thought, because whenever I smoked I used to see a man standing in front of me. He would silently stand there with his arms folded over his chest. I couldn’t see his face, but only the silhouette. I was always afraid of this ghost, and even if there was a candle in the room I wouldn’t go in unless there was someone with me. I also used to hear it breathing and following me when I went on the street. This only happened if I smoked, but because I was so addicted, it was a must to smoke, I just had to do it. So one Sunday I decided not to go out so I bought myself sweets, candles and a newspaper. After reading a little, the candle dropped and burnt the whole room, including everything I owned. So I had to run away. I was left with the clothes on my back. Those Nigerians hated me; I had burned down their place of business. But God had other plans for my life and now I am safe in the arms of Jesus. When I came to Doctors for Life I had nothing, only the clothes I was wearing. They gave me clothes, food and a safe shelter. One day I was reading the bible and I read James 4:2. “You don’t have because you don’t ask”. I needed shoes for church and I prayed, at dinner a girl said that she had a parcel for me but she had left it behind. I was wondering what parcel it was. Toward evening she came to the room with the parcel and it had my name on it. When I opened it there was a brand new pair of shoes inside with my name on it. So God does answer prayer. I am also just so grateful that God has given me second chance!]]>

Life Place

Prostitution is not a job which anyone deserves. Despite what many may tell you, it is not a job regardless of the physical location in which it occurs (street, brothel, massage parlor, car, private home, strip club, restaurant etc). Prostitution is inherently harmful to all those that cross its path, from the individual that is engaging in the act to the society as a whole. Those involved in Prostitution are mostly recruited from the section of society that have suffered the most setbacks in life, including being deprived of their self-respect at an early age. Many are victims of sexual abuse in their family home or rape. To be able to cope with the memories of their past hurts and the harsh work they are involved in, many turn to alcohol and drugs. The prostitute often ends up penniless, alone and either dead in a gutter from violent crime or in a hovel laying in a bed dying of an AIDS related illness. This is unless they get the help the need before it is too late. Life Place is about giving those that are trapped in the world of prostitution a lifeline to leave the business and at all it entails behind. This website will tell you all you need to know about prostitution, its harmful effects and what Doctors For Life has been doing to eradicate this practice. As well as what you can do to help us in our fight to save the men, women and children involved in prostitution.

If you are involved in any form of prostitution or know someone who is involved in prostitution, please let us help you
Helpline +27 (0) 79 046 4200 Telephone: +27 (0) 31 368 4938 Email: [email protected]

LifePlace Outreaches:

Tuesdays and Fridays: Please do confirm before going, by phoning 032 481 5550 As the correlation between prostitution and the AIDS epidemic rise steadily, Doctors For Life International (DFL) has expanded its role to include the care of abused women in South Africa ’s red light district. Through Life Place , many women and children have been re-united with their relatives, have found respectable employment and are now progressing towards living new and productive lives. One of Doctors For Life International’s key projects Operation Life Child, assists children who have been orphaned by AIDS.Operation Life Child has found that many of these children, in addition to the trauma of losing their parents, have been sexually abused, sadly most often by their own family members. This deadly combination coupled with their socio-economic status make orphans an easy target for further exploitation by the sex industry. DFL’s Life Place has rescued prostitutes as young 10 years old from the streets of Durban . Prostitutes are often drawn into the profession due to their harsh economic status. South Africa is facing a 40{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} unemployment and a HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 21.5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. This indicates that many families are loosing the main breadwinner to the virus and inadequate provisions of welfare lure many by the false promises of quick money. DFL is committed to bringing the continual exploitation of vulnerable members of our society to a standstill. We plan to continue assisting men and women who want to leave the destructive and dehumanizing world of prostitution. However, public help and support is required to help turn the long list of necessary preventative measures into actions. Interested individuals and parties can partner with DFL by providing time, skills, financial support and other relevant resources that can be used to help the victims of the sex trade. Interested donors can visit the DFL website at www.doctorsforlifeinternational.com and select “LifePlace” from the donation page to channel resources specifically towards the rehabilitation of prostitutes. DFL is registered as a non-profit organization and 100{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the proceeds are applied to the project. Correspondence is also welcomed and can be sent to [email protected]]]>