‘I am not a victim, I am a survivor’: Naoses

07 Aug 2019 18:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 07 AUG (NAMPA) – The story of a young transgender woman who survived human trafficking moved the Swakopmund community as she shared her story here on Wednesday.
Thirty-six-year-old Emma Naoses* told of her human trafficking ordeal during the commemoration of the belated World Day against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in the Erongo Region, relating she was only 17-years-old when she was trafficked to Angola by a man she thought was her boyfriend.
The incident occurred 19 years ago, when the 75-year-old perpetrator lured Naoses to a party, where she said he would drug her heavily, in order to send her off to the neighbouring country.
“I was trafficked and left in Luanda, without food, money or clothes for two years, while I was forced to engage in sexual acts against my will with people I did not know.
“The man, who swore to love and care for me, sold me off to these people and told me I was his money-making machine and was therefore not leaving that situation,” Naoses narrated.
Prior to the incident, Naoses was alone and vulnerable, after she was abandoned by her biological mother, sexually abused by her biological father and neglected by the rest of her family because of her sexuality and gender orientation.
“At the age of 12, I made a conscious decision to get involved in prostitution in order to survive. It was during this period that I met this man, who under the pretence of kindness and love, saw my vulnerability and took advantage of me.”
She said although she endured the most trauma during this heinous crime, she is a survivor and not a victim as it would be described.
Naoses is only one of the many casualties of the multi-billion dollar trafficking “business” across the world.
According to a 2018 report of the United Nations, a growing number of girls are being reported as victims of human trafficking, accounting for 23 per cent of all recorded cases.
Boys account for seven per cent of reported trafficking cases, down from eight per cent in 2014, and up from three per cent in 2004.
The report adds that 70 per cent of the cases are of adults over the age of 18 years.
The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is an annual event commemorated on 30 July.
*Not her real name