Many girls have similar problems.
They wanted to work in Europe as babysitters or hairdressers.
They often have large debts after their journey.
They are supposed to work to pay off these debts.
These girls are forced into a job they do not want to do.
Some manage to escape.
But they are often unable to tell their story.
They are frightened
that something bad might happen to them and their families if they reveal anything.
Are you in a similar situation?
Have you also sworn not to tell anyone?
At SOLWODI there are women who work to help women and girls in need.
You can tell them your story.
Get in touch with them and they will help you to find a solution.
SOLWODI Munich: 089/27275859
For all other locations: www.solwodi.de
Text: SOLWODI Munich
It’s more than likely you have had your first ‘period’.
Some families and countries actually celebrate this.
It means: you are growing up.
‘Having your period’ means:
The blood in your underwear comes from your vagina.
The vagina leads to a small cavity in your abdomen.
This cavity is called a womb.
There are two ovaries next to the womb.
There is a fallopian tube between each ovary and the womb.
Roughly once a month a tiny little egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube.
Now you could become pregnant.
However, in order for this to happen, you would have to have sex with a man or a teenage boy.
But you are still too young for that.
Next, the egg would be ‘fertilised’ by his semen and that means you would be pregnant.
The egg could grow in the womb.
As you are not pregnant the blood comes out of your vagina.
From now on roughly once a month the blood is rinsed out of your womb.
It takes a few days.
You can get sanitary towels or tampons for the blood in the shops or from a chemist.
You place sanitary towels in your underwear.
You push tampons into your vagina.
Ask a girl friend or your mother if they can help you.
Sometimes you may experience bleeding for a long period of time or you may have strong pains.
If this is the case you should consult your doctor.
You cannot tell if someone has HIV.
Only a HIV test can tell you
if you have the HIV virus in your body or not.
You can take a HIV test at a Gesundheitsamt (health office).
The HIV test is free and anonymous.
You do not have to pay any money.
You do not have to give your name.
A doctor will take blood from you.
Then look for the HIV virus in your blood.
If there’s no HIV in your blood, then that’s good.
If you have HIV in your blood, you will receive medications.
If you have HIV or AIDS, you should never have sex with others without condoms.
Otherwise you could infect the other person.
Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
If you use condoms correctly, you will not get HIV through having sex.
Condoms can be purchased in various places,
such as supermarkets, petrol stations or pharmacies.
Important: Do not use condoms which have been left in the sun.
Do not use old condoms.
Do not use broken condoms.
Use a condom when you want to have sex with a girl or boy.
Pull the condom over the penis.
Condoms provide good protection.
I have questions about HIV and AIDS. Who can I talk to?
If you have questions about HIV and AIDS, you can get help from an AIDSBERATUNGSSTELLE (AIDS Advice Centre) or AIDSHILFE (AIDS Support Centre).
These centres can be found in many towns and cities.
You do not have to pay and they will not talk to anyone else about your questions.
Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
HIV and AIDS are two different things.
HIV is a virus.
A virus is hidden in your body and can make you ill.
AIDS is a disease which can be triggered by this virus.
If you have HIV in your body for a long time, you can get AIDS.
AIDS can kill you if it is not treated.
There are good medications which fight HIV.
These medications reduce the amount of HIV in your body.
So you cannot infect anybody with HIV.
And you do not get AIDS.
You can live for a long time with these medications.
In Germany you do not have to pay for these medications yourself.
Your health insurance will pay for HIV medications.
People with HIV can decide who they want to tell.
The law prohibits people from outing others.
Be careful and abide by the following:
- Do not have sex with any other person without a condom (vaginal or anal sex).
- Do not inject drugs. Using syringes and needles is dangerous. Do not pass on syringes or needles to others.
- If you are bleeding or have an open wound, make sure that no foreign blood enters the wound.
Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
“Cutting” (or “female genital mutilation”) is when part of the vulva is cut off.
The vulva is the name for the female external genital organs.
You may have been cut when you were a small child.
You may not be able to remember anything about it.
There are several different forms of “cutting”.
Sometimes a small part is cut away.
Such as the “clitoris”.
This is at the upper end of the vulva.
Or the “labia”.
These are the flaps of skin around the vagina.
Sometimes the vagina is covered.
By joining the inner or outer labia.
Leaving only a small opening for urine and blood.
This may be normal for you. You may not have understood the doctor’s question.
Most women in Germany are not “cut”.
That is why the doctor asked you this question.
In Germany, “cutting” is banned and punishable by law.
This means that adults who cut girls are doing something wrong.
Cutting can harm girls’ health.
Girls can find more information or help here:
Being in love is a great feeling and is not prohibited in Germany!
Sometimes a girl falls in love with a girl.
Sometimes a boy falls in love with a boy.
That is completely normal.
It is not prohibited.
In some countries and religions, people say that it is a sin.
You might therefore think that your feelings are bad.
You might therefore not want to have these feelings.
But we would like you to know:
Your feelings are natural and are not a sin.
You cannot choose your feelings.
Your feelings are ok.
Sometimes people find it good to tell someone.
But telling someone is not easy and requires a lot of courage.
Perhaps you can talk about your feelings with someone you trust.
You will find more support on this website: www.sextra.de
A lot of things must seem strange to you here in Germany.
Women and girls have the same rights as men and boys.
These rights apply to all women and girls who live in Germany.
It is important for women and girls to know these rights.
Do you know your rights?
Here are a few examples:
You are allowed to study and attend school.
You are allowed to choose a job for yourself.
You are allowed to travel alone when you are old enough.
You are allowed to make your own decisions.
You are allowed to decide whether to get married or not.
You are allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You are allowed to dress as you like.
You are allowed to go out with anyone.
It is important for boys and girls to know these rights.
These rights must be respected.
This link will take you to a website containing more information.
An information sheet is available in many different languages (Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, English, Farsi, Dari, French, Serbian and Somali – and new languages are always being added).
Read the text carefully.
It is important for you to know the rights of women and girls.
Girls and boys and men and women like going to the swimming pool.
When the weather is good they go to an open-air pool or lake.
Here there are often meadows in which you can relax and sunbathe.
And there are spaces for playing games and sports.
When the weather is bad people go to the indoor swimming pool.
Here there is only space to relax after swimming.
Everyone wears swimming costumes.
They want to swim, relax and have fun.
Nobody wants to be stared at or touched.
In Europe many people don’t wear very much when swimming.
This is for practical reasons, to allow wet clothes to dry out more quickly.
Watching women and girls is rude.
Sometimes women and girls feel harassed by these glances.
If you want to look, then do so briefly.
You are never allowed to touch or harass. Otherwise you can get into trouble.
Grabbing women and girls is prohibited.
If you want to get to know a girl, you must speak to her politely.
You could ask: Can I buy you an ice cream?
Or would you like to play table tennis?
Important: Learn to swim so that you don’t drown in deep water!
Facebook is a social network on the internet.
A social network is:
A virtual space where people from around the world can talk to each other.
Instagram and WhatsApp are also social networks.
You can get in touch with old friends.
And find new friends.
It can be exciting to get to know new people.
But sometimes you have to be careful around strangers.
Strangers are people you have met on the internet
and have never seen in real life.
Here are a few tips:
Do not give your real name and address.
Do not give out your telephone number.
Do not put up any photos of your friends on the internet.
They might not like that.
Important: Do not meet a stranger off the internet on your own.
Take someone with you who you know well.
Agree to meet in a square or a café.