OPENING OF THE EXIT GROUP, 2006
The play portrays the dreams of three African women who are trying to come to Europe. They fall for the deception of traffickers and believe their promises of good job prospects in Europe. When they arrive, they are forced into prostitution in the red-light district.
Implementation The EXIT Group was officially initiated on the 1st September by the founders, Joana Adesuwa Reiterer and Harald Reiterer. A play was performed for over 100 guests. The audience was informed of the general topic and problems of the trafficking of women from Africa in this dramatic enactment. The guests were very interested and tried to answer the questions that were addressed during the performance.
- Are their ways to effectively raise awareness among adolescents in Nigeria to protect them from trafficking?
- Do most of them even know what it means to be a victim of human trafficking?
Many of the questions were very similar to one another, so we ultimately reached the conclusion to produce an awareness raising film for our target audience in Nigeria that compactly portrays the topics mentioned earlier in a comprehensible way.
Funding This performance was privately funded by the founders. The event was coordinated and supported by four volunteers. The location for the performance was made available by “Ohne Entgelt von Narrenturm”.
Information Workshop for Victims of Human Trafficking
After we initiated EXIT, it was very important to us that we inform victims of human trafficking of options to deal with their problems and possibilities for further education. Furthermore, we felt that it is necessary to inform these women about lifestyle and everyday life in Austria so that they can better orientate themselves and know where they can seek for help. The initial problem that emerged was that the women hardly dared to venture beyond their communities and that they did not trust people beyond this small group of people. In order to get into contact with these women, Joana Adesuwa Reiterer and a volunteer went to the red-light district at the Praterallee. She managed to persuade three women to come to a womens’ gathering. There were another four women who came to the meeting. Most of the women came to Austria “unknowing” of what was to expect them. They do not speak German (and are often even illiterate), and do not have contact to any friends who could help them.
Implementation: This first meeting was in the form of a discussion group. Coordinated by Joana Adesuwa Reiterer, discussion were held about the problems and difficulties of tackling everyday life in Austria of these asylum seekers. Since the women did not know one another, it was a difficult challenge to talk about the terrible circumstances of forced prostitution. Nevertheless, after the joint-discussion, several women personally approached Joana for advice. Joana managed to have an intimate conversation with many of the Nigerian women. It became evident that most of the women were controlled and monitored by a so-called Madame. Six of the women present at the meeting were victims of human trafficking and had been forced to repay their “travelling fees” through prostitution.
Funding: This meeting was privately funded by the founder. Two volunteers assisted in the coordination of the discussion group and provided consultations.