Grizelda Grootboom

Survivor of Sex Trafficking, Author, and Human Rights Activist

Grizelda Grootboom

Raised in an orphanage in Cape Town, South Africa where she lost her closest friend to death by stoning after having been raped, and was herself gang-raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township, Grizelda Grootboom was sold to sex traffickers when she was 18 years old. Life on the streets of Johannesburg in the sex trade meant brutal beatings and rape. A survivor who escaped, Ms. Grootboom today is an activist helping other trafficking victims in South Africa. In her memoir, Exit!, she reveals the often misunderstood world of prostitution to help raise awareness about its harms and the horrors of sex trafficking.

“When you are in prostitution, daytime doesn’t look like daytime and nighttime doesn’t look like nighttime. You just have reflections on what was done to you. I speak out because I know what it feels like to be that teenage girl being raped.”