Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia

by ASTRA - Anti trafficking action (ASTRA - Akcija protiv trgovine ljudima)
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia
Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia

Project Report | Jan 19, 2024
Strength of Perseverance

By Marina Papovic | SOS Consultant

At the end of 2021, ASTRA received information from a Vienna-based organization we collaborate with concerning a woman who experienced sexual exploitation in Austria. They provided details indicating her financial vulnerability, her responsibility for two underage children, and her requirement for medical assistance. In March of 2022, we had our first contact with her. We visited her and her children, who live in a small village. The three of them live in a substandard house that is not safe to live in. The father abandoned the boys when they were very young, and there was no support from the extended family either. She is 35 years old; the boys are 12 and 11 years old and attend elementaryschool. With our support, she was provided with medical examinations (psychiatric and examination by an infectious disease specialist), and we also provided the escort of a professional worker through the institutions because, as she states, she feels safer. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (appropriate therapy was provided), and medical tests showed that she has hepatitis C and B.

At the beginning of October 2022, she received a summons for a hearing in Vienna. She is called as a witness and victim in the proceedings against people who are accused of organizing the sexual exploitation of several women from Serbia, but also from other countries (Romania, Ukraine).

This situation, along with all the additional problems she faces, was probably the trigger for her worsening condition. On October 5, 2022, the client called very upset, cried, and said that she couldn't take it anymore and that she submitted a request to the Social Welfare Centre to place the children in a Home for children without parental care. Based on the assessment of the ASTRA team for providing direct support and taking into account her love and past care for the children, we organized a visit to review the decision with her. It was established that the client is in a difficult mental state, but after an hour of conversation, we managed to make a plan together with her about the services and support she needs. She explained that she was worried about the lack of trust in health institutions regarding the treatment of hepatitis, that the doctor at the Health Centre called her a prostitute, and that she could no longer go there. She fears for the children's safety because they live in a substandard house. Every winter is dangerous for their health, and the Municipality has been promising her help for years, but there is none. She told us that the invitation to the hearing activated the trauma she had experienced, that she wanted to go to testify but that she felt afraid and had physical reactions such as uncontrollable rapid body movements, that she had a severe headache, and that now she just wants it to end. Basic necessities, such as food, are also a problem.

The beneficiary immediately received a package with food and hygiene products. Examinations are scheduled in a private clinic. The psychiatrist prescribed her a new therapy in accordance with the stress she is experiencing due to the scheduled hearing in Vienna. After the infectious examination, the beneficiary received a referral to the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, and that examination is planned after returning from the hearing at the beginning of December. With our support, she filed a complaint against the doctor who insulted her and submitted a request to assign another general practitioner. In October 2022, two online meetings were organized with the associate and the lawyer who will represent her from Vienna so that the beneficiary was informed about the hearing. She was informed that she has the status of a particularly sensitive witness. Also, the submission of a request to the competition of the Ministry of Rural Care to obtain grants for the purchase of a village house in the territory of the Republic of Serbia was discussed with the beneficiary. We contacted the potential seller of the house and the municipality employee, and the procedure is being realized. Encouraged by all these activities and the support she received at every step, the beneficiary decided to withdraw the request she submitted to the Social Welfare Centre to place children in a Home without parental care.

At the end of May 2023, the client received another summons for a court hearing. The repeated summons had upset her, and a follow-up psychiatric evaluation was scheduled. After that, the beneficiary was calmer and more prepared for the upcoming court hearing.

After numerous tests and examinations by several infectious disease specialists, the beneficiary was informed in July that she would receive the necessary treatment for hepatitis C through the Infectious Diseases Clinic in Belgrade. This month, she will undergo tests to check the effectiveness of the treatment.

On September 2023, the client informed us that the main suspect in the ongoing case had visited her residence. During this visit, the suspect attempted to pressure and intimidate her. An unknown man accompanied the suspect and also threatened the client. Since the police did not immediately draft an official report necessary for further submission of information to the court regarding the circumstances that occurred, we accompanied the client to the police station to provide support during her statement and to insist on obtaining the official report. Once we received the official report, it was forwarded for translation with the seal of a court interpreter.

Over the past two years, significant strides have been made, but this woman is still at high risk due to poor living conditions and financial situation. We still try to find ways to improve the client's quality of life.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Project Leader:
Danijela Nikolic
Belgrade , Serbia
$28,580 raised of $40,000 goal
 
424 donations
$11,420 to go
Donate Now

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.