One of the worst things happening

In late January 2017 Pope Francis did a long and interesting interview with a Spanish newspaper. Among the many questions he was asked was about his reaction to violence against women. In his reply he began by pointing out that this takes place in every country. He then went on share his own experience of the kind of abuse of women which takes place in Italy. This is what he said:

“In Italy, for instance, I have visited organizations that rescue female prostitutes who are being taken advantage of by Europeans. One of them told me that they had brought her from Slovakia in a car trunk. They tell her: you have to earn such and such today, and if you don’t bring it in, we will beat you. They beat her. In Rome? In Rome. The circumstances of these women, in Rome!, is terrifying. In the house that I visited, there was a woman that had had an ear cut off. When they don’t earn enough, they torture them. And they are trapped because they are frightened, the abusers tell them that they are going to kill their parents. Albanians, Nigerians, even Italians. One very good thing this association does is that they go down the streets, approach the women and, instead of asking how much do you charge, how much do you cost, they ask: How much do you suffer? And they take them to a safe community so that they may recover. Last year, I visited one of those communities with recovering girls, and there were two men, two volunteers. And one of the women said to me: I found him. She had  married the man who had rescued her and they were eager to have a child. The use of the woman is one of the worst things that are happening, also in Rome. The woman as a slave.”

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