Berlin is set to open its first gay refugee shelter this week.
The shelter is only the second such location exclusively for LGBT asylum seekers. The first opened on February 1 in Nuremburg.
Speaking at a press conference this week, Marcel de Groot, head of the Schwulenberatung advisory centre which is coordinating the project, said the shelter was necessary as many LGBT refugees are subject to violence from fellow asylum seekers. “There are stories of violence in shelters in Berlin,” said de Groot, stressing that people must be able to “live without fear of violence or discrimination.”
The facility, based in the Treptow-Köpenick borough, will welcome refugees in several stages as some minor renovations are still needed, reports Ruptly TV. Today, the first 18 dwellers will move into the shared flats, with another 122 expected to settle down in their new home in the coming weeks.
“Many refugees approached us and asked for help as the situation in public shelters became unbearable. Many report discrimination, offences, being spat on and cases of violence. They were beaten, kicked and abused. Some were threatened with rape and murder and we even had cases where the abuse could have led to death,” Stefan Jäkel, spokesman for Schwulenberatung Berlin, told Ruptly TV.
The gay and lesbian association of Berlin and Brandenburg said it received 95 reports of assaults on gay and lesbian migrants in the capital and surrounding state of Brandenburg between August and December last year, reports The Local.de.
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