Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mr. Widmer helps women out of prostitution

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Rebecca WyssEditor society / magazine

Peter Widmer’s search begins where many women lose themselves. And hopes die. On Zurich’s Langstrasse. In the red light district. In front of the Sonne restaurant, where at night men pat the buttocks of prostitutes over beer and Schnipo to the rhythm of luscious live music. Now, during the day, a flame flickers on the ground: a grave candle. Inconspicuous, but Widmer’s gaze wanders down immediately, not seeing it for the first time, says: “Maybe a prostitute committed suicide.” And moves on. Draws its circles in the «Kreis Cheib». That’s his job.

Peter Widmer (54), massive silver ring with a lion’s head, button-sized rhinestone stud earrings, Versace-style satin shirt, looks like the men who lure women into the sex trade. But he does the opposite. Widmer helps them get out. As a street worker. He and his wife founded the non-profit NGO Heartwings 15 years ago, based on Langstrasse. Thanks to her, around ten women find their way out of prostitution every year. A tiring job. tedious. But, says Widmer, that’s important to him and his six employees: “We don’t give up any women.”

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