My name is Monica*. I’m 32 years. I started to sell my body at the age of 20 in Durban. It was very hard then because the police were racist, and only arrested Black sex workers on the street, and not Indian girls. They would also beat us up when they arrested us.
There was one police officer who did not arrest me. Instead he asked for free sex. I just gave him because I wanted to go home. He left the other girls inside. They had to first pay a fine of R50, before being let out.
One day I refused to give him sex, and he said to me if I don’t want to have sex with him he will never take me out again. So I decided to give him, because I just did not want to be in jail. He tell his other police officer friend and his friend also started doing the same thing to me. At that time I did not know my rights- I was blank and blind.
When I come to Cape Town I met an organization called SWEAT- Sex Workers' Education and Advocacy Taskforce- that educated me about my rights and health issues. Now I’m strong and I'm willing to educate other sex workers that still don’t know their rights.
*Not my real name