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Question about "ladies of the night" EUR, Rome?

Question about "ladies of the night" EUR, Rome?

Old May 6th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #1  
curious
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Question about "ladies of the night" EUR, Rome?

On a recent trip to Italy, due to some poor planning on my part, my husband and I were driving into Rome at a relatively late hour. We were coming through the EUR area (don't ask) and were shocked at the large number of prostitutes standing around literally every few feet on the main drag. (Like there would be 4 or 5 on one block, one or two on each corner, and then spaced every few feet on the block) They seemed to all be quite young and healthy...by that I mean they didn't appear to be drug addicts. When we've come across them in the cities here in the U.S., they've appeared older and "harder" - like it was obvious that drugs or other sad circumstances put them out on the street. I'd love to hear from someone who's lived or stayed in Italy that has some perspective on this. It really caught us by surprise when we were there and I'd be interested in understanding the "context" around what we saw. Anybody?
 
Old May 6th, 2001, 03:22 PM
  #2  
wanderer
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these putani have all the same problems of prostitutes everywhered. the rate of drug addiction is high and unfortuantly the rate of sts(sexually transmitted diseases) including HIV is very high. in the rome area many are black from ethiopia-promised jobs but alais npoot what they expected. the police just look the other way and they perform buisness as usual. this is especially true on sundays during the day on a main road comming bACK INTO ROME- wont say which one so as not too help anyone find them. my relatives in rome just say what can you do- if people are stupid enouogh to pay for sex there will always be someone there to sell their wares
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 04:44 AM
  #3  
curious
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Yes you are right, it appeared that some of the girls we saw were African. We were coming in to Rome midweek and there were so many there - I can't imagine how bad it must be on Sunday if that is the worst day. I'm surprised the police allow them to operate so blatantly right on the main street.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 10:27 AM
  #4  
Marco
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First, as a sidenote, I want to point out that coming through the EUR (specifically its main arteria, the Cristoforo Colombo) is indeed the better, faster and simpler access to central Rome from the South. You just follow it (that unmistakable 4 divided carriage - 10 complessive lanes main road) until its end: turn left, turn right and you have the Colosseo in front of you just at the end of the straight...

As for your question, your observations are absolutely correct. As a matter fact, practically all the street prostitutes in Italy are from Eastern Europe, Africa or are transexuals (so called 'viados', mainly from South America).

The 'invasion' of prostitutes from Eastern Europe began right after the collapse of Soviet Union and it was (and is) an occurence common to all Western Europe. Obviously the reasons behind it were and are the economic differentials between the countries in question, as is demonstrated by the evolution of the phenomen. While just after 1989 the girls were practically from all over E. Europe, as economic conditions improved in countries like say Hungary or Czech Republic they now do tend to come from the poorest countriest. Nowadays in Italy they are mostly from say Albania, Romania, Ukraine, Macedonia.

As you've observed almost all of them are quite pretty and young, and some of them are stunningly beatiful, a striking difference from the usual look of street prostitutes in industrialized countries. That's a difference explained by the different background (and an interesting but sad demonstration of what people would do for get out of poverty. I still remember the ecellent answer given by an hungarian girl intervisted in one of the main Italian newspaper a few years ago, in a service about adult film industry in Budapest. Questioned why such a nice girl like her would ever want to work in such an indecent job, she curtly answered that the only indecent thing is the average pay of a say a cashier there ...)

I would venture to say that no one of the E. Europe girls is a drug addict.
As a matter of fact a number of studies have showed that HIV prevalences amongst them is very low (< 3-5%), since fortunately most of them are sufficiently empowered to not having to accepted unprotected rapports.
HIV prevalences is higher among African prostitutes and the very few Italian drug addicts left, but not significantly higher than that it is expected for their other risk factors.

Finally you asked why the police tolerate it all.
For start prostitution is not an offense in Italy, exactly like in most of Europe. So there's nothing to tolerate.

It is true though that, out of concern of moral mayority, residents annoyed by the traffic and so on, as well as issues of exploitation from criminal organizations, they do tend to discourage it as much as possible, but there's nothing much that could be done.

In this regard I find particularly interesting, especially in relation to that offensive pickpockets thread, that you and the other poster had the impression that the police looks the other way.
Every night the Cristoforo Colombo is patrolled by several police and Carabinieri cars. The girls simply run away and reapper the very same moment that the police car turn the corner...
Every other day or so they organize a large scale operation with several vehicles,even jeeps able to follow them in the parks, they caught quite a few of them and issues deportation order for those (the overwhelming majority) who are irregular. Most of them simply ignore it, accepting the risk of a couple of weeks in jail when and if they're caught again. Other complies, or are just deported on the spot (which all the related human rights issues), but the just come back again, or their place is taken from completely new girls.

Marco
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 11:38 AM
  #5  
LJ
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Marco, if you are not a journalist, you should be: what an excellent and insightful synopsis of a complex and intriguing subject. My husband and I write mystery stories and I have printed off your analysis for one we are working on with a Roman background. Thank you!
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 02:01 PM
  #6  
BTilke
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Marco's answer is fine as far as it goes, but it glosses over the ugly side of these Eastern European prostitutes: they are not simply capitalists out to make a buck, many of them are nothing less than slaves to organized crime gangs from Russia, Albania, etc. Marco's post gives peope who don't know the dark side of prostitution in Europe the idea that it's a victimless crime. As one report after another has shown, it is NOT. And the biggest victims are the prostitutes themselves, many of whom are lured to Europe (to my neighborhood in Brussels, for example) under the pretext of being offered jobs as "hostesses". Yeah, right. As for their earnings, they get to keep next to nothing--it goes to their pimps. These prostitutes are popular with their customers because they are pressured by their organized crime pimps not to require the use of condoms. The pimps also confiscate their ID papers and because the women are brought in illegally, they are unlikely to turn to the police.
FYI, I am a journalist. If you want to see some reports by journalists on the subject, look at some back issues of The Bulletin, the English language newsmagazine for Belgium, or the International Herald Tribune. It's not a pretty picture, no matter how beautiful the girls are.
BTilke
 

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