Decriminalise sex work – Ana's Story

Decriminalise sex work – Ana's Story

Due to domestic violence and unfaithfulness of my husband I decided to run away from my marital home of 16 years in Tembisa to look for freedom and some peace of mind. I was traumatised time and time again and although he said he would kill me and even though I reported him to the police, he was never arrested.

On Sunday 4 April I left my place in Tembisa with two kids and moved to Hillbrow to my close friend’s place at a hotel. My friend explained how she earned a living at the hotel. I agreed to the idea to sell sex since there was no other alternative for me to earn a living at that moment in time.

Being a once-married woman, it was tough at first to work as a sex worker but after two weeks I made up my mind not to blame myself for what I was doing because surely I had to pay the bills and buy something to eat. I had to support myself.

The …problem at the hotel is that the security guards and the management really abuse me and force me to have sex with them without paying like other clients. This really bothers me because if I don’t agree they will chase me away at night and this means that my room will be given to another person. The police as well – they are a major threat since they continuously raid the hotel and upon arrest I have to pay a fine of R300. The police scare away clients and put my life at risk.

[box]These pictures and stories were taken by participants during a photo project titled, “Working the City: Experiences of Migrant Women in Inner-City Johannesburg”. It was a collaboration with the Market Photo Workshop, Sisonke Sex Worker Movement, and the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University. For more information click here[/box]

A dirty building where people sell their produce along Abel Street in order to earn a living. This image reflects the lack of adequate selling spaces for vendors in Hillbrow.
These are some of the beautiful places where parents go with their kids in Hillbrow. This actually reminds me of good moments with my kids.