Joy, a young Nigerian woman who arrived in Italy in 2016, then was forced into prostitution, tells her story in a two-part podcast produced by journalists Teresa Di Mauro and Giulia Tringali.
“The sex trafficking of Nigerian women to Italy is not a new phenomenon,” says Di Mauro, whose podcast tells some of the reasons why young women like Joy leave Nigeria.
“You make the trip thinking you’re better off,” says Joy, and by the time you’re on a harrowing journey—it’s too late to go back. “You have to move on, move forward. Whoever dies—dies.” Arriving in Italy, many Nigerian women are forced into human slavery as a way to survive. “They obey, and begin an invisible life,” says Joy. “No-one knows who you are. Our African states are too silent. They don’t do, say, or condemn.”
Joy found hope—and a way out—through a reception center for women migrants in south Italy. Suor Rita Giaretta, who manages the redemption center, said she sees young women like Joy—often brought in by the police—turn from lives of despair to lives of hope.
“The madams have power so the girls are terrified,” said Giaretta. “It is beautiful to see them
Teresa Di Mauro and Giulia Tringali’s work is part of Changing the Narrative, a project produced by the World Association for Christian Communication regional associations in Africa, Europe, and Middle East with financial support by the Otto per Mile foundation of the Waldensian Church in Italy. For more information—and more stories—visit the Changing the Narrative page.