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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Rome: prayer vigil for girl killed for refusing to be a prostitute
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 A prayer vigil in memory of a young woman murdered for refusing to prostitute herself has been organised by the Pope John XXIII Association this Thursday at 9pm at Marinella Sarzana. Lauretta Kikia was just 19 when she arrived in Italy from Albania in 2002. She was one of many young girls lured into the prostitution racket. After the first week she had the courage to report her situation to the police. They introduced her to the Pope John XXIII Association, started by Catholic priest Fr Benzi, which cares for girls forced onto the streets. Lauretta was immediately taken to one of the Association's family homes. In the next seven months Lauretta learned to speak Italian, obtained a residence permit and found a job. She told the family she lived with of her dream of having a large family one day. In February 2003 despite advice from Fr Benzi and others, Lauretta went home to visit her family. Once back in Albania in June 2004 she was caught again and brought back by force, once again to be a prostitute in Italy, at Marinella di Sarzana. Three days ago Lauretta was found dead at the side of a road in Marinella. Police are still investigating the murder. According to the Association, in Italy more than 50,000 girls and women are forced to sell themselves on the streets, in night clubs, hotels, private apartments. Most of these of these women come from poor countries and have been lured to the west by the promise of legal work. When they arrive they are forced into prostitution. The Pope John XXIII Association is calling on the Italian government to clamp down on the trafficking of women and support those who find themselves stranded in the country. Source: Fides News Service
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