“I said, Yes, why not. I would love to travel! She said okay, she’d take me to Europe. I was amazed. She said there are lots of jobs in Europe. I’d work in her supermarket.”
Before leaving, Rita was told to go through a voodoo ceremony and swear an oath to ensure that she would pay back the money for the journey. The woman told her the cost of the trip would be 35,000 and Rita did not object. She thought it was in Nigerian currency (35,000 Naira = 90 Euros).
The woman accompanied Rita on the journey through Libya. Her attitude changed and she removed her friendly mask. Rita was being abused, beaten and raped by men along the way but the woman did not intervene or protect her.
The journey from Nigeria to the Libyan coast took one month. It was a traumatizing experience. Rita saw fellow passengers die and their bodies just discarded in the desert without proper burial. When she had crossed the sea to Italy she was taken out of the reception centre by the traffickers and taken to Florence, where she expected to find the job she had been promised. Instead she found herself in a brothel where she had to prostitute herself to pay back the money the traffickers claimed she owed them. After three months locked into this house she managed to escape and is now in a women’s asylum in Germany but her mind is not at peace. She is still being threatened by the brothel Madam in Italy.