The Global Slavery Index estimates that approximately 248,700 people live in conditions of modern slavery in South Africa. 43% of victims in forced labour were identified by the Walk Free survey to be subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. Though the purchasing of sex is criminalised, the sex industry thrives on the street, in brothers and in private residences. South African women, women from neighbouring states and Thai, Chinese, Russian and Brazilian women have been identified as victims of commercial sexual exploitation in South Africa. South African women have also been trafficked abroad, predominantly to Europe.
Elanie was abused and neglected from a very young age. She was sexually molested until the age of 14 years old by both her mother’s boyfriends, teachers and her brother. Alcohol featured at an early age during her life, being given it to keep her quiet from the age of 6. After she left school Elanie was looking for work when she was sold to an escort agency and subjected to sexual abuse by numerous men for 8 months.
From a very very young age I had to learn how to survive each day, with or without an adult to guide me. I never knew God when I was very little, and if I did I know I would have coped more with a lot of things. For many many years I blamed God for what I had to go through as a young women, I kept asking Him the same questions: “WHY”, why did I had to go through so much in order to still battle as a young women, a mother and wife. For many years He did answer me, I just never listened. It was a journey to come to where I am today, a journey with lots and lots of tears and sadness, but through all this, He was always with me and still is till the end. I was broken, He put me back together again, I was shattered , He picked up the pieces, I was unable to trust and to love, His love restored me, I am not saying my life is perfect now, I am saying that He is in control of my life, no matter what, and because of Him, I can lay down my head on His shoulders for comfort. He moulded me to be who I am today, I never understood why certain things happens in life, but at the end of the day I know now, He does have a plan.
We were very very poor, very, I was still a little girl, around 4, 5 years old that I remember my brother, sister and I had to steal food for a living. They had to climb through fences late at night to go into vegetable gardens to steal our supper. Alcohol was the ruler in our house, it controlled my parents every day. My father was a way a lot of times, and that left my mom at home alone a lot, from being alone, she had boyfriends entertaining her most of the times. As I am the youngest, I was staying at home while my siblings will go to school, when my mom was drunk and one of her boyfriends came to visit, she would tie me up a big tree and tell me to shut up. I would be standing by the tree tied up for hours, while the boyfriend or friend was entertaining her.
When my mother was drunk she use to get very aggressive, my sister use to hide me in the closets for hours, she would bring bread and water, she was my mother, my sister was the one looking after me. I never understood why this was happening. There were days that we would go to sleep without food, but alcohol was the ruler. I guess in my brothers heart, he was battling with his own demons and pain, as little as 6 years old I was given alcohol to shut my mouth, the only way my brother could get rid of his pain, was by abusing me, sexually. My days was complete with alcohol, pain killers and molestation. My sister never
knew about my brother abusing me. Whenever she could she would have hid me in the closet.
I was sexually molested until the age of 14, I was even molested by one of my brother’s teachers, he stayed at a farm, and that was our escape from home time to time. My parents got divorced when I was 14 years old, my mom took off with another man, during the times she had many affairs, which I was mostly involved. Many nights her boyfriend will pick her and myself up while my dad was passed out at home and he would take us to a hotel, many nights, I would run away, hitch hiking back home, as little as 10-14 years old.
They got divorced and my mom left without me, I was taken away by the Welfare and was placed with other people for a while. After that I was placed back with my mother and her soon to be husband in a small little town outside Bloemfontein. At the age of 16 years old, when I came from school one day I found my mother shot and killed, the case is still open at the Highcourt in Bloemfontein, as it never was resolved. Was she killed, or did she commit suicide, for months I worked closely with the police to investigate, after the court case that time, which was very difficult I had no place to stay, so I end up staying with my brother and his wife.
I left school and start to look for a job, I got sold to a Escort Agency for 8 months. I was told to go to a place for an interview, I never went home, I stayed there for 8 months. I was abused and sexually abused by different men, I was very very young. I could not handle it anymore, so I ran away, I stayed in Bloemfontein on the streets for a long time. My stepmother took me in and my life started to change. During the time that I was 14 to 17 years old I was involved in Satanism, I hardly knew what it was, when it was exposed, I had the police escorting me to school for protection.
By the time that I was 7 years old I was addicted to pain killers. I was a prostitute for 8 months and it was hell. I was hated by many and I hated many. I slept on streets, I was an alcoholic and I was alone. I am very afraid of being in a small room, as I was kept in a closet for hours for protection. I saw my mother having sex with many men in front of me, which I would then hit the road and run away.
I tried to commit suicide two times, both times I ended up in institutions. I had sleeping therapy and 4 brain shocks, treatments. I hated my life, I always wished I was never born, I was told by many “I wish you were never born”, but God created me and He created me for a reason. The day before my mom passed away I was told that the father that brought me up was not my father, I did confront him before he passed away in 2010, and I was told I am not his daughter.
I am a better person today, yes I do have flaws and yes I make mistakes every day, but am I stronger…Yes…I am. I have a very very strong and soft spot in my heart for people that are abused, sexually and emotionally. I have a certain soft heart for prostitutes, I hate human trafficking as it is a evil on its own. I have a soft spot for children, being victims of molestation and being abused. If there is anything I can do to help, I will go out of my way. There is hundreds of people out there that need a hand, what CAN I do to help! A soft hand, a soft smile, and eyes that can tell another person, I love you, Jesus loves you, I am here to help, is what they need.. How Jesus loves His people, how big is the tears that falls down his face every day!
I love God and I live for Him, I am an instrument in His hands and whatever and wherever He wants to take me, I am willing. Please understood there is many many people out there living in hell, it is things we as humans don’t want to talk about, but we MUST, it is the truth, hundreds of kids are being molested, sexual slaves, sold out, and here we do nothing, It is time to TALK and safe lives!
To God all the Glory and I am thanking Him for being in MY life. I love Him deeply.
Originally published on Ruth Jacobs, Soul Destruction