Nineteen-year-old S. from Haram area is considerably young, but she is beyond her years when it comes to knowledge of men s pent-up desires.
When we first met her outside the Haram police station, she refused to speak to us when she spotted the camera. When the chief investigator ordered her to enter his office she was downcast and afraid. Eventually she agreed to tell us her story and the charges against her.
My name is S. and I m 19 years old. I am here on charges of soliciting adultery. I was arrested at a famous cafe on Haram Street by the vice squad.
S. explained how she tried to escape the humiliation of deprivation through the quagmire of vice. She left her destitute family, which consists of a father and four brothers, only to sell her body to whoever would pay the price.
“My mother passed away years ago when her health deteriorated badly because we couldn’t afford the medication, she said. Despite his advancing years, her father remarried a girl his daughter’s age and their lives turned to hell when he began mistreating them especially when his new wife gave birth to two children.
Problems with her stepmother drove a wedge between her and her father which drove her to her uncle in Munib who couldn’t host her longer than a few days because he had too many mouths to feed.
“So I went out on the street without knowing where to go when all the doors were shut in my face, she said.
For a month she slept on the pavement, where she was under the protection of thugs who used her body in return. She desperately scavenged for bits of food to satisfy her hunger.
Adamant to escape the oppression of the street thugs, she hooked up with some prostitutes but soon rejected their life of debauchery and decided to return home. “But my father refused to take me back, saying I was old enough to take care of myself, she recalled.
She had no alternative but to resort to the infamous Haram café where she was hired to lure customers and pleasure seekers into the café in return for a “commission from both the customer and her employer. “And if the clients asked for me, I had to comply, she said.