Trafficked into prostitution

For Molly, 16, the idea of escaping, especially with the help of so-called rescue organisations seemed a worthless endeavour in the absence of employment options

Promise of a job

Molly (not her real name) moved from the rural area of Chambuta at the age of 16 to stay with a relative in Chiredzi following the promise of a job. On arrival, she was immediately handed over to ‘her employer’ and subsequently realised that she had been ‘trafficked into prostitution’. Like Noku, Molly was initially not mentally prepared to undertake this kind of work. However, unlike Noku, for Molly the idea of escaping, especially with the help of so-called rescue organisations seemed a worthless endeavour in the absence of employment options.

Working as a commercial sex worker has provided me with the opportunity to at least lead the kind of lifestyle I have always dreamt of.

Long-lasting impact

Hard as it was, Molly acknowledged that ‘working as a commercial sex worker has provided me with the opportunity to at least lead the kind of lifestyle I have always dreamt of’. 

However, despite having accepted working in this trade, Molly’s story also reveals the long-lasting impact of exploitation on individuals’ humanity and well-being: ‘I consistently feel that I have been robbed of my childhood… my struggle is how to regain back what I have lost’.  

For Molly, the only way to assuage herself and experience some form of power was through initiating other women, especially innocent girls from her village into the commercial sex trade. This at the same time, served as a form of income to support her family and sustain her newly acquired lifestyle. Molly sees this as a way of dealing with her own pain and loss, in the absence of concrete and permanent solutions to the on-going and worsening economic situation which feeds into the problem of human trafficking.