No woman is born a prostitute; there is always someone behind, who makes her choose this way. Father Oreste Benzi loved to use these words to introduce the dramatic topic of human trafficking and women forced into prostitution. A phenomenon that is increasing more and more in Italy and in the European countries where prostitution is not forbidden. In fact, even in the Italian legislature anyone, whoever wants to sell their bodies for sexual purposes is free to do so.
Nonetheless, favoring and exploiting prostitution are considered to be delinquency and a criminal offense. Therefore, every single case should be investigated and examined to understand if the person who sells her body exerts prostitution out of her own will or because someone forces her to do so. Unfortunately, the deep and widespread ignorance about this problem makes us think that the first hypothesis is the most truthful. A colossal mistake committed by a good part of the public opinion.
Only a few are aware of the real and serious exploitation these young women suffer. Only the police and the judiciary, the associations that work in the field and more or less the so-called customers are aware of this. It is rather unlikely to meet young women who tell that they live peacefully on the streets of slavery and are happy of their slavers.
For several decades, we have been working to recover these women and none of them has ever told us she was happy in that hell. That is why today, in the House, we will be supporting a bill created by the MEP Catherine Bini and several other parliamentarians to say concretely how to tackle the question of prostitution exploitation by punishing the customer. Only blocking demand – that is, discouraging the customer – we will be able to destroy this market, the supply of young girls brought to Europe to become moneymaking machines.
A unique filth that leaves too many people indifferent, even among some institutions and in the world of women; as though there were B-series people predisposed to be objectified to satisfy the perverted needs of men without scruples. Don Benzi has taught us not to stay silent in front of such intolerable injustice. Yes, because the sight of a fifteen- or twenty-year-old girl on a sidewalk, trampled, raped every night, bought, used and thrown away, treated worse than an object, is shocking. Yet, there are different personalities and high social categories that would like to solve everything through the legalization of prostitution.
Someone would be happy to raise the GDP this way, others would like to invest in these girls, increasing their shameful profit on behalf of the State. In short, there are only a few people who are truly interested in the liberation of enslaved women and this is the reason why, as a community, the Association Pope John XXIII, started an awareness campaign called “This is my Body”. This way, we want to reach the hearts and minds of many Italians who will probably be able to open their eyes, realizing that these bodies are not objects to be purchased, but people with a soul… maybe even the same age as their daughters, sisters, or grandchildren.
A law that would stop the customer is not desired only in Europe and in the countries that have adopted the so-called “Nordic model”, but it is first and foremost a value-leap. When the man will understand that one cannot buy the body of a person for sexual reasons, it will be the end of the rigning and degrading sexism that exists today, and the beginning of true equality and dignity among human beings. From those who do not know what to say, you usually hear “but this is the oldest job in the world”! We say it is the oldest shame of the world, it is not acceptable, and those who become accomplices of this slavery cannot be justified. Therefore, as long as there is even one sole woman forced into prostitution, we will not remain silent.