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Parents driving daughters into prostitution

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What would you do if your unemployed daughter brought home an expensive lounge suite and a car boot filled with groceries worth thousands of dollars every other month?

Believe it or not, there are some parents who are driving their daughters into the arms of sugar daddies who bankroll them for survival.

This week I came across a girl who is now living positively with HIV, a condition she contracted from a 34-year-old married man who apparently is deliberately spreading it to young girls and women.

The man’s wife would sometimes call this girl advising her to go for an HIV test, since she too had been infected, but the girl ignored her pleas.

“I actually hated his wife because I believed I would become his wife after this woman had been kicked out of their matrimonial home. But I decided to do some investigations one day and discovered that this couple’s youngest child had not been breast-fed.

“That is what triggered me to go to a testing centre for HIV. The results nearly killed me. I became suicidal. It was so bad . . . but I have since accepted my status.”

She actually blames her mother, a divorcee, who had driven her into these affairs because of her financial demands.

“If a parent tells you that there is no food in the house when they fully know that you are unemployed where do they think you will get the money from?

“I was under so much pressure that I ended up trying what the other girls were doing. It was initially very exciting, but I now realise that I was dicing with death. What should I do?

“I should have listened to what this man’s wife said because she never shouted at me, but advised me in a very motherly tone that I should get tested and little did I know that she was trying to protect me.

This man is deliberately infecting young women with HIV because I have since discovered an 18-year-old who has been impregnated by him.”

This young woman is now 23 but she already has a five-year- old child that she bore soon after completing high school. Her dream at that time was to attain university education in engineering.

But she says all hope has been lost. In yet another incident, I counselled a young woman aged 21 about a year ago who was being driven into illicit sexual affairs by one of her parents so as to meet the day-to-day costs of running their home.

“My dad is in Rwanda and he has been very ill so there is no income coming from there. I passed my “A” Levels and got a job with a foreign-managed superette in the city. But that was the beginning of hell.

“My mum has forced me to ask for endless loans to meet rent costs and many other domestic needs.

“When I resisted getting more money from my employers three months ago, she shouted at me so much that I just want to leave the job. She actually threatened to kick me out of the house.

“My mum actually said to me that I should be enterprising like one of our maternal cousins, a commercial sex worker. Can you imagine this coming from my own mother?

“I want to go to university and I got this job so that I save money for the fees, but my mother is destroying my dream.”

The young woman confided in the wife of her employer who has since accommodated her at their Greystone Park mansion in Harare.

They have pledged to send her to university in exchange for her working at their family business. Her mother was, however, not pleased with the arrangement and actually cursed her.

“She says I will never get married, fail in my studies and all sorts of horrible words. I pray to God daily to negate the negative words spoken from my life. Parents should bless their children and not curse them. I am so ashamed of my mother.”

The young woman says she has found happiness since she left her mother.

“I was obviously going to find myself in the arms of sugar daddies. Why does she want me to become a sex object for men’s pleasure?”

Sugar daddies are generally respectable people like bankers, politicians, chief executives, teachers and many others.

But how do we, as a community or nation, rescue young women and girls from such situations?

Feedback:rmapimhidze@newsday.co.zw

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