Rotary Club of Reading

RAHAB 7th February 2017 meeting



In helping counter the problems faced by sex workers on the streets of our town, RAHAB provides refreshments, rape alarms, condoms and warm clothing. The two staff and some volunteers run a Night Outreach service but as fewer sex workers now operate on the street, this makes it difficult to reach them.
RAHAB widened tries to help all victims of exploitation in Reading. One problem is 'cuckooing' whereby a tenant agrees to allow a homeless friend to stay. That 'friend' then brings another and the tenant is eventually forced out or to become a servant of the other occupants. RAHAB is informed of such occurrences by social services and by the police and, where possible, raids are made on the properties in order to restore the rightful tenants. With the aid of the police, raids are also carried out on brothels where the sex workers are often exploited immigrants whose passports and other means of identification are kept by their oppressors. Lonely people of all nationalities are often exploited by unscrupulous people who fasten on the need to be liked. Pension books are taken over and the victims end up with nothing.
RAHAB's two paid staff and 19 volunteers work closely with St Mungo's who find accommodation for homeless people. Restaurant workers who sleep in the kitchen and workers in nail bars are often being exploited. Naomi has one Albanian client who last year was brought to England by drug traffickers. On being discovered the traffickers told the victim, who was pregnant, to disappear and somehow she ended up in Reading. Naomi has been looking after this lady and her child since then at considerable cost to RAHAB whose income is entirely dependent upon donations.

Mustard Tree is a registered charity, number 1104631, website operating from London Street in the centre of Reading.

Related links

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