IWS got to know Viviana when she was still living the emergency shelter at the Wiesenstraße, in Wedding, Berlin. On the 29th of January we went to the Notunterkunft to have a coffee with Viviana and see how she was. The moment we met, Viviana was already showing signs of stress. No wonder, she was one of the few women living in a shared space of a former Basketball Hall with 200 men having only her bed as a place of her own. As we tried to get in the house to see the conditions in which she was living, the security stopped us on the corridor. First they said that we had to show our documents before coming in. Fair enough. We know the procedures and are used to show our ID’s when entering such houses, but as soon as we were pushed back by the security to the entrance hall, they changed their minds and we could no longer enter the premisses at all. As some discussion continued, came the news that Viviana, by the way, could no longer live in the house and must go to Lageso, at that very same night, and try to find a new place to live.
We argued with the House’s administration that a woman should never be thrown out on the streets at night. We reminded them about the current discussions about the safety of women in Germany, as this has been a big topic in the country since the reported sexualized violence in Köln during new year’s eve. They didn’t seem to care or even relate the events in Köln with the fact that they were expelling a woman from her shelter on a friday night. We argued long, trying to make they understand that if this was their decision, they should at least wait until the morning after, when it would be safer for Viviana to leave the house and search for a new place, but they were resolute and Viviana was expelled. Luckily we were there and could accompany Viviana to the Lageso and together find a new place for her in a Heim, a former school building, where many other refugees are already living.
Here is a short video documentation of her expulsion from the Emergency shelter at the Wiesenstraße.
Click here for the Press Release which was published few days ago.