CHERYLL DUDLEY of the ACDP has revealed her life as the grandchild of a sex worker. In an open debate last night between various members of SWEAT moderated by Judge Dennis Davis, Dudley spoke of her turmoil growing up as the child of a sex-worker’s daughter. “This was before I found Jesus Christ”, she said. “Since finding Christ, life had been better” and this conversion had allowed her to “speak openly about prostitution”.
The ACDP does not support the decriminalisation of sex-work, despite research published by the Insitute for Security Studies, showing that the lives of Cape Town’s 1200-plus sex workers could be improved if they no longer feared prosecution from the police. According to Benicia September of Sweat, “police are the one thing we fear”, and many sex workers fell victim to abuse which they could not report for fear of prosecution.
In a lively debate held at Cape Town’s Castle, the problem of child-prostitution was raised, in particular the impossibility of policing in an environment where such practices were swept under the carpet. Bringing sex-work out into the open, would help alleviate suffering and contribute to health in the face of an epidemic which has affected single and married South Africans alike.