Drug addiction increases prostitution
By Tando Mfengwana
11 March 2007
Drug addiction amongst teenage girls is fuelling the boom in teen prostitution in Cape Town.
Teenage girls are said to be selling their bodies to earn money to buy drugs or having sex with merchants in exchange for drugs.
Pregnancy, assault, HIV or other Sexually transmitted diseases are just some of the associated risks to drug addicted teen prostitutes.
Nicolette Kwalie, social worker at the Mitchells Plain branch of the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence told the Cape Argus that an increase in the use of drugs, particularly tik and heroin among some girls.
She said this had resulted in the increase in the numbers of teenage prostitutes.
Shafiek Davids, director of Drug Treatment Centre said young girls as old as 12, feel that it’s ok for men they tik with to take advantage of her while she’s high.
Patrick Solomons director at Molo Songololo a children’s rights organisation, said that while drugs were a factor, gangs who took advantage of their vulnerability and inability to protect themselves pushed these girls into prostitution.
He said that girls who turned to prostitution were often previously emotionally scarred by previous sexual abuse earlier in their lives.
Solomons said often the girls were left with no psychological help for the emotional effects of prostitution and sexual abuse, after they managed to kick the habit.
A Cape Town rehab centre manager said that from noon till 3pm, girls could be seen roaming the streets of Muizenberg, Hanover Park, Lansdowne Road, Kenilworth and Wynberg.
He said experience at his rehab centre showed that many Grade 7 girls between 13 and 14 were falling into the prostitution trap because of their addiction to drugs.