In a first for the largely Roman Catholic country of Italy, a charity has launched a helpline for the clients of prostitutes, citing the torment they endure.
“It’s no longer possible to face up to the problem of prostitution without analysing and helping the clients of prostitutes,” Don Giovanni Sandona, head of the Catholic charity Caritas, said on Monday.
“We’re talking about thousands of ignored people,” he said, evoking the suffering of people who pay for sex.
Caritas’ service will be available anonymously over the internet or by text messaging over a mobile phone.
Caritas, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations “working to build a better world”, will propose, among other things, the possiblity of finding help from family therapy specialists in a Venice institute.
First reactions have been positive, according to the charity: men have called expressing the need to help the young women they seek out on the streets.