Jacky* can’t hide her excitement. She has just been offered the job of a lifetime. After many months of scouring the newspapers, answering adverts, and receiving tons of rejections, she just cannot believe her luck. But, what Jacky* doesn’t realise, is that she has just entered the world of the Flesh Trade.
The company offering the position has told her that she was one of thirty candidates up for the position of PA to the CEO. The salary is amazing, the perks are to die for, and she will be given a company vehicle to drive, as the CEO will often need her to run errands for him.
It’s the first day of her new job and although all interviews were handled over Skype, she feels like she already has become part of the family at this new company.
As Jacky* knocks at the door of a seemingly residential house, she starts to get an uncomfortable feeling deep in her stomach. She shrugs her shoulders, takes a deep breath in and tells herself it is just nerves. I mean, who wouldn’t be nervous on their first day on the job.
Jacky* is just one of hundreds of young women who are lured into a pretend situation, with promises that entice and beguile them. Once Jacky* steps her foot into that house, she will more than likely never be seen again. Jacky* is now part of the flesh trade.
The traffickers often force their victims into giving sex for money, and arrangements are generally made up front before the girls or women actually get there. If the women are not compliant enough then they feed them drugs until they are. From there, a constant dose of whatever drug they prefer, is fed to them, and eventually they become addicted.
Recently, there were reports of trafficking taking place right on our very doorsteps, in Brooklyn and Milnerton. So, no, people, it doesn’t just happen overseas, and believe us, it doesn’t get sorted out so swiftly like in the movie Taken. Yes, we would all like to imagine that the likes of Liam Neeson will come bolting through the door to save us, but this doesn’t happen the majority of the time.
It is a sad world that we live in, but one can never be too cautious, no matter the situation. From dating apps to job interviews, always do your homework and due diligence. Check all credentials. Ask all the questions you can possibly think of. And, never accept anything or anyone at face value.
The trafficking of young women, men and children is rife in South Africa. You may not have seen it. You may not have known anyone who has been a victim of this. But, it happens. It is happening.
Here are a few ways you may be able to recognise if someone has become a victim of human trafficking and has been drawn into the world of the flesh trade –
- Looks seriously malnutritioned
- Shows signs of abuse or injury
- Seems very withdrawn and somewhat illusive
- Has no baggage, handbag, or personal possessions
- Is dressed untidily and is dirty
- Avoids eye contact and seems skittish
- Looks unhealthy, and often with dark circles under their eyes or with marks on their skin
If you are suspicious and you know someone like this, or have seen some shady goings-on in your neighbourhood, do not attempt to get involved. Make contact with the authorities and report it straight away. They will take it up and investigate.
You could be saving someone’s life!
*Names and stories are not of real