VIOLENCE against ladies of the night may soon be a thing of the past after a local non-governmental organisation SafAids gave them pepper sprays to protect themselves from vicious clients.
But this has been received with mixed reactions.
While some people argued that this was another way of promoting bad behaviour as the ladies of the night could misuse the sprays to rob people, others supported the idea.
Chief Executive Officer of Women Empowerment Foundation Scribes Africa (WEFSA) Edinah Masanga said this was a scary development as it could make things worse with sex workers starting to commit criminal acts themselves.
“I totally condemn the arming, let the law take its course. We have to use the available justice system and other avenues that are already available. I’m totally against this idea of arming people; it can get out of hand before we know it”.
Masanga was supported by another woman who said that it was better to educate the sex workers on other methods of self-defence. She said ladies of the can be very cunning and cannot be trusted.
“There are several media reports in which sex workers have been found wanting, after acting in cahoots with robbers to fleece clients,” she said.
A female activist Lindani Chirambadare said female sex workers are workers first and fore most and they need training and continuous practice in self-defence.
“They are more vulnerable than most groups and therefore any move that curbs that vulnerability is welcome. It is a move that will help deter unscrupulous persons and even some police officers who want to take advantage of these women”.
SafAids Executive Director Lois Chingandu, whose organisation has armed the ladies of the night, said they were not encouraging sex but responding to the need to protect a vulnerable group.
“We have decided to give them these sprays after realising that they are exposed to violence yet they cannot report to the police”.