One of my earliest memories is
being taken to a studio by my
parents, at around the age of four. The studio
was in a run down building very far from home. Once we had
arrived, they waited for another couple to
arrive with their own child.
“Would you like to take a picture with this little boy?” mother asked,
before they left us with the
Left alone with the photographer, the images
being made in the studio were far
from happy family portraits. I and the other child had been sold into the child sex industry.
It was to be the beginning of a 15-year ordeal,
which saw me regularly trafficked by my
parents and other members of an organised group from my home to locations
all over the country and abroad.
In my teens, the
crimes were often perpetrated in my own home,
where many studios provided ample
opportunity for the underground child sex
industry, and this went unnoticed.
My father, who was self-employed after
losing his factory job, was violent towards my
younger brother, but since i had become the
family breadwinner, i was granted a
better status. “My father always favoured me
because I brought in the money – I was
supporting our whole family.
brother was jealous because of my dad’s special
treatment of me.
“My father was also quite affectionate towards
me whereas he would beat my brother to a
pulp. Although he did hit me, he wanted me to
stay intact because the less scars I had, the
more I was worth.”
Inevitably, as i grew older, my value to
My handlers decreased and subsequently the
kinds of films i was required to take part in
became more extreme and violent.
from a young age, i had learned from
my parents to rationalise and deny what was
going on within the family. “It’s the same way
that someone who has a problem with alcohol
will rationalise their behaviour – ‘It’s only this
many drinks. It’s before noon but, oh well, just
“I remember my mother saying things like, ‘Oh,
they’ll never remember it,’ like people do when
they get their babies’ ears pierced. I told myself
that my parents meant well, that what I was
going through was what was necessary to help
It was paying our rent and keep the family afloat, eventually I grew up, and out lived my use fullness, the child sex trade doesn’t need growing girls, so I was kicked out by my parents, and forced to fend for myself.
Turning to prostitution was an option, I knew the trade, but made a choice, I got help, I found help, these days you find me trying to earn a living as a hair stylist, in a new town, trying to make a new life, the past haunts daily, its no Cinderella story.
Will the memories go away, I doubt it, will the fear of being recognized continue to linger? Oh yes definitely, but until then I shall dare to enjoy this semblance of normalcy.
Posted by Arome Ameh (The Priest) From WordPress for Android