Stepping Stone Apartments
There are four levels of prostitution in Germany: Internet prostitution on specific website such as KaufMich, Saunas & massage parlours, brothels, and street prostitution. It is nearly impossible to come across any sort of exact numbers on the matter, but it is believed that brothels are overwhelmingly dominant in this industry. A woman working in such an establishment can be expected to pay up to 175 euros per day for her room, as well as a 25 Euro tax to the city within which she lives. The average income from a customer is 25 Euros. This means that thousands of women such as Kelly must service 8 men a day to simply break even. If they cannot pay one day, they will lose their room. This precarious situation leads to very specific issues: living day-to-day means heightened precarity, which has been linked to higher risk-taking behaviour, in an industry already fraught with risk. Additionally, living day-to-day, whilst having low education, as many of these women have, means bad money management issues. We can add to this issue various forms of expensive addictions that people turn to in order to alleviate the stress of daily life.
Faced with these numerous issues, we did some field research, spoke with prostitutes, brother owners and NGOs, and came up with the best way to help based on these answers: Stepping Stone apartments.
We offer individual rooms in shared apartments reserved for women. Those rooms will be offered to women wanting to make a first step in their way out of prostitution. Thanks to partner NGOs we will recruit women feeling the need for a change of environment and psychologically ready to do it. We will offer them a first 3-month trial period in one of our apartments. They will then benefit from a stable and safe environment, allowing them to create a new life pattern home-work-home. If they want to they will be able to participate in the short workshops we will organize on topics like “money management” or “basic computer skills”, and they will also be offered moments in group to share their experience. For the women who will want to take a step further, they will have the opportunity to live with women outside of the world of prostitution: students, single women or even retired women (who are also in need of social bond to get out of their isolation and reintegrate the “regular” society).
Contact: Adrien Book / adrienbook(at)hotmail.com
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