Grizelda Grootboom - Author of Exit - #SurvivorStories


#Trigger warning, this text contains real life occurrences that will be upsetting to some people.

EXIT BY Grizelda Grootboom

(In Grizelda’s Words)

I am a survivor of sex trafficking, sex slavery and drug addiction.

The purpose of my book was to write down the many painful years of my youth and entry into womanhood. It is because of men, money and power that I ended up in these powerless, painful situations. The first pain I can remember was losing my cat, then we lost our house a few weeks later. After my granny died, I didn’t have anywhere to go. When my father died, my mother left and I was living on the street at eight years old. After a while I tried to reach out to find my mother, when I found her I went back and forth to her. This was until I was raped by 4 boys in the township of Khayelisha when I told my mother what happened — she beat me up.

After this, I decided I was done looking for a better life, so I went back to living on the street. Around then, other street kids told me about a shelter at Ons Plek. I was around 8 years old then.

Exit - The book is full of me moving from one city to another. I stayed at Ons Plek until I was almost 18. That same year I met my friend, we became very close. Looking back the main reason was ‘cause she could get drugs from me, as street kids we were taught how to sell drugs and take drugs. So she would come to hang out with me and some street friends. 

Then after a while she told me she was moving to Johannesburg (JGB), so I asked her if I could come and stay with her. Because I was getting too old to be staying at the home for girls so I had to find a place to stay. 

When I got there she had other plans for me.

I remember she left me in an empty room and said she was going out to get food. That was the last time I ever saw her, when she made that decision to change my life forever.

Her plan was to sell me and she did. Someone I trusted, sold me, where I was kept in a room, where they undressed me and injected me with drugs. After that men entered the room constantly.

They even injected me with drugs behind my knees to numb my lower body, after this I think it was about two weeks of this and more men coming into the room.

After this experience I was high a lot and in need of finding my fix of drugs. My book tells you how pimps trafficked me through all the cities of South Africa from one brothel to another.

My life Today 

Well, now I am fighting for a better life for myself but most of all I am fighting so survivors can find a way to EXIT sex slavery. But how I see it, it is the laws that have been putting women in sexual slavery and it’s a  very hard fight ‘cause most of the time the laws say women ask for it. When it is the men who are actually the ones demanding sex, and access to girls and women every minute. If we look back at where women come from and how many women are killed or raped then we should know the world doesn’t care for us. In these past few years of being an activist fighting with all I have got against human trafficking I have been pushed back by political men that are in power — and women. They think I should stop fighting for the rights for women and girls and what happens to them. 

Everyday as survivor I have to hide or move around just to stay safe. 

Now I am trying to do well at school so I can get a job for myself and take care of myself. ‘Cause it is clear to me that the government don’t want women to EXIT from sex slavery. My dream is that my book sells all over the world and I can write another book and win against men in power the ones that put women into sex slavery. And hopefully have my own happy and safe home.

You can find Grizelda at