Background to the programme
The Marthe Richard law penalised prostitution in 1946. The Amicale du Nid (ADN) meets and supports people who are prostitutes or risk being prostitutes in several French cities (Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, Paris, Epinay and Colombes). This association possesses expertise and knowledge on the phenomenon of prostitution that it passes on to help youth prevention and to train political and social actors. In 1965, AdN created its first service in St. Denis to come to the aid of people who wanted to leave prostitution. It opened a day care centre in 2008 to meet the increase in precariousness of women in the department who are exposed to homelessness and at risk of violence.
Objectives of the programme
- Encourage the reintegration of women
- Offer day care
- Make essential services available: showers, washing machines, laundry ...
- Provide practical advice to mothers
- Principles of the day care centre: open from Monday to Friday during the day to women with or without children, from the 93 district and living precariously (people in hostels, hosted by the Samu Social, housed by others, in squats, in caravans). They can go daily to the day care centre but without any obligation to attend.
- Activities offered: interviews with social workers to take stock of their situation, initial assessments on access to social rights, problem solving, workshops to enhance their image and work on their confidence (interventions by midwifes and relaxation therapists)
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- The main objective of ADN is not to reintegrate but to welcome the women. The association does therefore not seek to produce this result.
- The number of women welcomed is continuously increasing: on average 40% year on year.
- Most women beneficiaries:
* Are aged between 25 to 35 years (the association had initially envisaged a younger public)
* Are of foreign origin and resident in France for less than 5 years
* Attend the centre for at least one year
- In 2014: 705 women and 361 children were received
This day care is reserved exclusively for women. The day care that existed in Saint-Denis was open to all types of people and addressed various problems, such as alcoholism. The women tended to avoid these centres because they did not feel safe there.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Samu Social, PMI (Maternal Child Protection), SIAO (Welcome and Guidance Service), Masion de la Solidarité (linked to the CCAS of Saint-Denis), Restaurants du cœur and Secours Catholique
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Stigmatisation of the targeted public, especially by donors
- The concept of prostitution is also problematic: in Saint-Denis it is often clandestine and takes various forms. The women concerned rarely use the term "prostitution" to describe their situation.
- Problem with coordinating and accessing the services: the day care centre does not know in advance the number of people it will receive daily due to the itinerant lives of the beneficiaries. The days of over-attendance cannot be anticipated and access to certain services (in particular washing machines and appointments with social workers) cannot be guaranteed.
- Difficult to meet all the demands due to the increase in requests since the creation of the centre
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- Refocus the association on the issue of precariousness to avoid stigmatisation
- An appointment system was gradually put in place by the association to unclog the services and allow every one access to them.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Multidisciplinary team: AdN usually works on caring for people and, therefore, with social workers. As part of the day care centre, it appealed for different profiles of people (receptionists, facilitators).
- Direct women towards care provided by many partners (social Samu, PMI, SIAO, Maison de la Solidarité ...)
To know more
- Survey by the General Council " Les mamans poussettes " (“Pushchair Mums”) (2000)
- Amicale du Nid is developing a Regional Experimental Programme on Nutrition and Breastfeeding (PRENAP) in partnership with the Hospital de la Fontaine and the Region