BesD Emergency Fund
Cases – Applications – Stories
The call for help from Dayana (39) reached us via a worker from a counselling centre in the south of Germany.
Her client, a mother of 4 children originally from Puerto Rico, works regularly on the local street. Her identification documents expired some time ago and the corresponding offices are currently closed – she is now without valid documents. The organization of childcare for the youngest children is also becoming increasingly complicated for Dayana due to the current uncertainties.
With the help of the BesD Emergency Fund, Dayana and her children can financially bridge the time until a possible application for basic income provision.
Szófia (30) last worked the streets in the middle of Germany, which has now been forbidden. As she has only been in Germany for a short time, she is not entitled to state benefits.
Without financial reserves, the Czech-born woman is now at a loss, and a return to her home country is currently impossible.
With the donations from the BesD Emergency Fund, we can provide Szófia with the urgent financial support she needs. Despite the big hurdle of her lack of German language skills, she is now applying for various jobs that will hopefully get her through the next months.
The staff member of a counselling centre approaches us with a particularly difficult case: Wictoria (23) has been working as a sex worker in Germany for two years, she originally comes from Ukraine.
Since the Corona crisis she has had no income and due to an accident at work she is now also unintentionally pregnant. The counselling centre that looks after her has managed to get the medical procedure covered by a health insurance fund, but there is no money for the preliminary examination.
With the help of the BesD Emergency Fund we can help Wiktoria with a little bridging money and pay for the urgently needed examination.
For the 37-year-old Nesrin, like for so many other sex workers, the Corona crisis has dried up all previous sources of income. The apartment building in which the woman has worked until now had to close its doors. The circle of friends of the Kurdish-born woman is small and her family also lacks the necessary money for support.
In order to be able to apply for basic income provision, Nesrin needs valid identification documents. An appointment for a new issuing has already been arranged, but until then she still has to somehow make ends meet on her own.
Thanks to the money from the BesD Emergency Fund, we can help Nesrin to regain her identity documents and provide her with some bridge money for food.
As a young woman Natalia (34) came to East Germany and has worked here in various brothels.
As a single mother she could hardly build up any financial reserves – since the closure of all places of prostitution her income has completely disappeared. The rent for the one-room apartment, which she lives in with her two children who are still at school, is nevertheless due in full.
The money from the BesD Emergency Fund helps Natalia to get by for a while – with the support of her counselling centre, she tries to apply for basic income provision during this time and to persuade the landlord to temporarily reduce her rent payments.
Since the closure of all places of prostitution, Ilona (27) has been completely without money. In addition to herself and her two young daughters, her work at the club had financed her mother-in-law, who lives with her and takes care of the grandchildren.
The father of the children does not pay any support and has left the family. Ilona contacted a counselling centre and applied for basic income provision.
Money from the BesD Emergency Fund enables Ilona to pay for emergency accommodation and pay for food. Meanwhile she hopes for a positive decision for her application.
Christa (65) has been earning her money with sex work for more than half her life. She has never had her own apartment or official residence in Germany, and she previously slept in the brothel where she also worked.
She has never received social benefits and has no chance of getting them now – she doesn’t know, where she can get money to live without working in the brothel.
Thanks to the donations from the BesD Emergency Fund, we can give Christa money for emergency accommodation and basic needs. In this way we are able to make her life, which is particularly difficult at the moment, a little easier. Meanwhile the staff at the counselling centre are looking for a longer-term solution for the woman.
David (21) is made aware of the BesD Emergency Fund und by one of his regular clients and contacts our team directly. The young man has no German citizenship and cannot return to his home country – regardless of travel restrictions, he has no money for air travel.
David has no permanent home in Germany and uses different accommodation possibilities again and again. He has worked exclusively as a sex worker and now urgently needs money for food.
Thanks to the donations from the BesD Emergency Fund we were able to help David out. He is now able to get by for a few days and can look for alternative sources of income.
Alina* (21) & Joana* (25)
The two women are both from Croatia and were last employed in the same brothel in Germany. Like many others, they are now „stranded“ at their place of work- virtually unemployed and without savings. Fortunately, the owner can offer them temporary shelter, so that the two of them are not forced out on the street for the time being.
The counselling centre that was called in to help, has applied for basic income provision for the young women – but it is still completely unclear whether they will get it or not.
With the money from the BesD Emergency Fund, we are giving Alina and Joana the opportunity to pay for the most necessary things – food and the costs of emergency accommodation – until a decision has been made on their applications.
Maria (43) comes from Hungary and has been living precariously in Germany for many years – but in the acute corona emergency she no longer knows how to help herself and turns to a social worker in a nearby counselling centre for prostitutes.
As a trans woman, Maria has already been exposed to many attacks and prejudices. In recent years, her only income comes from sex work. Lately Maria has been homeless and is sitting on a small but insurmountable mountain of debt.
Thanks to the donations from the BesD Emergency Fund we were able to help Maria a little in this extreme situation. She can now at least bridge the time until an emergency shelter is available for her.
A social worker who supports sex workers in need in West Germany receives a visit from Sara (25). Sara comes from Hungary and works as a sex worker in Germany. She is homeless and can only temporarily stay with friends. She has no formal school education and speaks only a few words of German.
She needs urgent medical treatment and has no health insurance that pays in Germany. The social worker succeeds in obtaining partial coverage of the costs of treatment. Now only a preliminary medical examination is necessary, but this still costs over 100 Euros – a sum that Sara simply cannot raise on her own.
Thanks to donations from the BesD Emergency Fund, we were able to help Sara in cooperation with the counselling centre. She can now pay for the necessary medical treatment.
The life circumstances and problems that we describe in individual case histories are real and accurately reflect the current hardships of many sex workers in Germany. However, neither the age, place of residence, nationality, level of education, the chronological sequence, the description of certain life circumstances, the exact reason for the application nor the specific amount of the subsidised sum can be used to draw conclusions about the identity of individual applicants or their clients.
Maintaining the anonymity of their clients is one of the absolutely necessary prerequisites for the trust that is placed in counselling centres and social workers working in the field of sex work. Especially sex workers who belong to marginalized groups – such as immigrants without legal residence status – are forced to avoid contact with public authorities, offices or police for fear of sanctions.
Low-threshold counselling and other support services can only reach these people in the long term if a lasting relationship of trust is established and no private data is shared or published.
On the other hand, the urgency of the current crisis can be better conveyed by individual fates than by a series of numbers. These stories make the people behind the statistics visible and show where the donated money actually goes. In order to reconcile this contradiction – especially in the case of referrals via counselling centres – individual case histories were made anonymous, modified and transformed in content.
BesD Emergency Fund
YOU NEED HELP FOR YOURSELF OR A SEX WORKER YOU ARE ASSISTING?
IMPORTANT NOTE: The emergency fund cannot be reached until August 31, 2020. A list of local counselling centers can be found here.
- Tamara Solidor (sex worker + administration BesD e.V.)
- Nicole Schulze (sex worker + board member BesD e.V. + advisory board for street sex work)
Phone: 0049(0)179 – 41 67 88 3 (also Whatsapp, Telegram, or SMS possible)
WHY IS YOUR DONATION NEEDED?
In the current situation, no sex worker should have to continue working for basic survival and therefore endanger her- or himself and others.
However, the lack of personal emergency funds due to poverty and the lack of entitlement to basic state benefits means exactly that: Even now, as the crisis intensifies, people are still doing sex work and looking for clients on the street or on the Internet. Many of the sex workers with no home in Germany have been living in their respective places of work – since the closure of brothels and clubs they have no place to go. They cannot currently return to their home countries either, as borders are closed and in most cases there is no money available for an unplanned trip anyway.
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS WITH YOUR DONATION?
Your donation will be used to fill the BesD Emergency Fund, from which sex workers in need can quickly receive financial help after the BesD has verified and assessed their application.
The BesD e.V. is in close contact with the nationwide Counselling Centres for Sex Workers (Bufas e.V.), the health authorities and other supporting organisations. Many committed allies and social workers have been working for years at the most difficult hotspots of the industry, helping and supporting those sex workers who need it most. They can apply for money from the emergency fund on behalf of the most vulnerable sex workers and thus help those who are particularly affected by the crisis in a hands-on way.
WHO BENEFITS FROM YOUR DONATION?
The BesD Emergency Fund is aimed exclusively at those sex workers who are most vulnerable and unlikely to have access to state aid funds or loans. These people are in existential difficulties due to the current crisis. They need immediate financial help to secure housing and food.
Grants from the BesD Emergency Fund are allocated secondary to state benefits, this means: Any possible claims for help from the state (e.g. job centre, social welfare office, health insurance) need to be taken care of first and before submitting an application to grants from this particular fund. A regularly updated overview of state aids for sex workers can be seen HERE.
YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?
Tamara Solidor (Administration BesD e.V.)
Phone: 0049(0)179 – 41 67 88 3 (also Whatsapp, Telegram, or SMS possible)