It was an unexpected and extraordinary visit. Pope Francis chose to spend over an hour next to the most forgotten women in the world, whose body is used and who are later thrown into the abyss of loneliness. The hall of the parliamentary groups of the Italian House was painted blue on July 13. The scout group from Pistoia, the hometown of MP Bini, first signatory of the bill that introduces sanctions for those who buy sex for money, have taken this action against women’s exploitation seriously. Through music and songs, they told about their first contact with these victims on the roads of Pistoia, approaching them not with the question “How much?” but “How much are you suffering?”, as Father Oreste Benzi used to do.
It was 2004 when Benzi started collecting signatures for a citizens’ initiative to reaffirm the complicity of the client, with the collaboration of famous Italian singers such as the Nomadi, with special success obtained with the help of the Zelig tour and through the involvement of the associations, groups, and movements throughout Italy. Since then, the Community has never stopped to seek alliances in the political, social, and entertainment environments.
Inspired by the Nordic model recommended by the European Parliament resolution 2013/2103 (INI) and by the policies that, recently also in France, target those who pay sexual services while considering women who prostitute themselves as victims of the sex trade that hinders equality gender violating the dignity of women, the 3890 act of the Chamber of Deputies puts forward a revision of the so called “Merlin law”.
Italian MP Caterina Bini – one of the 34 MPs from different political groups who signed the bill – from the National Democratic Alliance, the Movement 5 Stars, and Forza Italia – pointed out that this is the only way to eradicate the phenomenon of trafficking in Italy “the sentence that we want to add to the Merlin law is very simple – she explained – but the battle is tough because there are so many bills in Italy that propose to legalize or regulate prostitution.” Even MP Gianluigi Gigli, a signatory of another similar proposal presented in July 2014, guaranteed the intention to join forces to obtain more success in the hearing in the House, correcting the “cultural false idea behind the legalization proposals concerning prostitution, because Holland and Germany deny that the State profits from it and that trafficking has decreased.”
The one who has spelled out the urgency to start with the principle expressed by the founder of the Association better than anyone else – “If there were no demand, there would be no offer” – was S., the Romanian 25-year-old who survived the violence of her exploiters and clients. “Let us not call them customers, but inhuman people” she frankly reiterated in Rome. Some of them beat her up and even cut off a piece of her ear, others have purchased her as if she were a thing. She got into their cars in tears, dragging her visibly weakened body. That is the reason why at Palazzo Montecitorio, on July 13, she reaffirmed the importance of introducing a law that will sanction those who buy sexual services, calling the phenomenon that for her and for a vast majority of women who prostitute themselves on the street “is not a job, but a torture!” With all the elements of physical or psychological abuse, threats to family members in their country of origin, their story is that of a torture.
Even Giovanni Ramonda, the President of the Association, firmly said that “besides encountering the victims of human trafficking on Italian roads for 25 years now, together with many other young people, we also want those who build their crosses, to stop doing so.” He reiterated that it is necessary to call these phenomena by their real name, and at present the people that came into contact with the misery of the woman, “a commodity to be purchased” raises its voice again with courage, together with the victims. On the Internet, sexual addiction is spreading exponentially. “Sexual exploitation is not just an Italian problem!
We are present also at the UN, represented by our spokesperson Mara Rossi, exactly to remind that prostitution is the main purpose of trafficking in human beings. The sex industry and child pornography must be fought by joining our forces.” Twelve years after the attempt made by Father Orestes to emphasize the part of Italy that says “No” to the commodification of women, the Pope John XXIII Community and all the people who came into contact with the misery of the woman, “a commodity to be purchased” raises its voice again with courage, together with the victims
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