East Coast Radio and eXpose HOPE

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#AppreciationMonday: eXpose HOPE helping to bring restoration, hope and dignity to sex workers in Durban

You never truly know what someone has gone through, so stop and practice the pause before you judge their decisions…

There are several things that we have stigmatised as a community. One such thing is the way we view the sex industry.

Some look with judgement, while others look the other way as if it is a shameful thing to acknowledge. And we wonder why there are so many people who feel like they cannot speak about what troubles them.

Perhaps because we live in a world that is so selective about what they see as a cause worthy of attention.

It is for this reason that we love the way this group of women have come together to stand in unison for women who have been conned into the sex industry.

When you think about a sex worker, a lady of the so called ‘red light district’, there is this immediate stereotypical thought process that comes to mind.

Many think that they choose to be in this line of work, but a non-profit organisation operating in Durban called eXpose HOPE is breaking that thought process. We spoke to Liza Moroney, one of the founding Directors of eXpose HOPE.

When speaking about what they do as a group, she started of by sharing some wise words about our understanding of what human trafficking means.

“Human trafficking doesn’t only happen overseas, in the movies or cross boarders. You don’t have to be kidnapped and locked up in a shipping container or drugged and smuggled out of the country. Human trafficking is happening right on our door steps and is rife in the streets of Durban. eXpose HOPE is a registered NPO who care deeply for woman trapped in the sex industry and victims of trafficking. We visit various areas around greater Durban providing a hot meal, condoms and an item of restoration to bring hope, love and unconditional love to our women.” – Liza Moroney

One of the most insightful things that Moroney shared with us is that “many of these ladies are promised jobs in the City center but then found trapped in a drug house/brothel with no way out. Culturally, they fear to go home as they will become a burden to their family and unable to provide and later look like a failure.”

She also spoke about one of their biggest frustrations about the sex industry, which is that the ladies “pimps sell them off to the highest bidder moving them from house to house like a cheap commodity, a piece of meat, a disposable soul.

The ladies don’t make big money and live a “Pretty Women” life style. They get fed drugs so that they become addicted and can’t leave the industry. Whatever money they make ends up back in the pimps hands and the cycle just continues over and over again.

The general public see them as a nuisance and degrade their community and property value but do they ever shout at the client picking them up? Do the men ever get arrested?”

As much as we hate to admit it as a society, if we are all honest, we will attest to the notion that we all have judged these women at one point or another.

As a team, Moroney says that they are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these ladies. Helping them make better choices, aiding in their rehabilitation, providing them with safe houses, shelters and eventually getting them back home to their families.

They have helped over fourteen women, and four babies this year.

We asked Moroney for some advice to avoid falling into the traps that these women have fallen into. This is what she had to say:

“With over 15 years in the recruitment industry, my only advice would be don’t accept a job over WhatsApp, Facebook, or a new friend you have never met. Do your own back ground checks on the company and agency you are working through when applying for jobs. Don’t be afraid to phone the head office and confirm the vacancy. And never pay someone to find a job for you!” – Liza Moroney

eXpose HOPE relies purely on donations from the public and can be found on Facebook and Instagram but for more details please visit our website www.exposehope.co.za.

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