Lilongwe Police Station victim support unit officer Getrude Chimenya has urged sex workers to report abuse to police.
She made the call on Friday when police officers met sex workers from Mogasa and Devil Street in Lilongwe.
“You should not hesitate to report to police any sexual violence you face at the hands of your clients. You have rights and police have the mandate to protect everyone, regardless of their profession and status,” said Chimenya.
She, however, warned sex workers against abandoning their children, saying it is a criminal offence.
“You should seek help from the police at victim support unit. But if you feel that you are not assisted, then you should go to Child Justice Court,” said Chimenya.
However, a concerned sex worker, who declined to be mentioned, bemoaned that some police officers sleep with them for free.
“In those days, a police officer would sleep with you without giving you a service charge. Now we have been empowered and we will report such officers to their bosses,” she said.
Female Sex Workers Association executive director Zinenani Majawa said the police visit was timely.
She said: “It is the first time the police officers are engaging us. Ironically, police officers used to be hostile to us and took advantage of the repealed rogue and vagabond law to sleep with us for free.
“Of course, they are still arresting us on idle and disorderly charges, but we hope, through these interactions, they will change.”
During the meeting, Female Sex Workers Association distributed condoms to its members both at Mogasa and Devil Street.
According to Female Sex Workers Association, there are over 20 000 members in the country.