CZECH SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE z.s.
We are the official Czech branch of the international organization “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”. We fight against stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination against people living with HIV, sex workers and other marginalized groups. We educate communities and students through entertaining and expert workshops, monitor trends in risky behavior in the online environment, and implement our own projects focused on chemsex and sexual violence in communities. We do field work (clubs, streets), work in the on-line environment (sex applications) and at events such as Prague Pride, Erotic Fest – Erofest, Alt*Pride and others. We are proud that we formulate our approach and programs so-called „from below“, i.e. at the beginning there is always a person with experience and only after that an expert (medical staff). Our goal is to get close to the communities that is in need of our service. We are queer, radical and human rights activists.
It is the first project in the Czech Republic focused on the phenomenon of chemsex. We provide free and anonymous support and peer advice. Our team consists of people who have experience with chemsex, share their story, or connect clients with other institutions. We pride ourselves on being able to use our expertise, at the same time we highly value the privacy of our clients. We do not provide data to others. The information we require from clients is of statistical nature and is used to create or improve our services and programs.
Within the project we run an online platform www.saferchems.cz, provide nonstop counseling through Whatsapp application, training for sex clubs staff. Furthermore, we distribute harm reduction material and we are preparing a working group of experts for the purpose of lobbying and finding effective solution of chemsex problem in the Czech Republic.
Project „SOUHLAS dát/mít“ (To give/have consent)
It is a community project for victims of sexual violence in communities and subcultures. The aim of the project is to provide education, dissemination of information about sexual violence, peer support and distribution of info materials.
We are going to launch an online counseling centre in the future.
Our counseling and services has the role of peer advice. This means we have experience with Chemsex and share our experience with you. At the same time, we cooperate with specialized workplaces or experts, which we recommend to our clients.
We pride ourselves on being able to use our expertise, at the same time we highly value the privacy of our clients. We do not provide data to others. The information we require from clients is of statistical nature and is used to create or improve our services and programs.
HIV self-testing and home testing in closed communities
HIV testing is not our core project, but given the importance of early diagnosis, we regularly support self-testing via distribution of test kits to clients. While the client is taking test, we provide advice, after the results are available, we interpret the result correctly and give preventive recommendations. Every year we conduct tests anonymously and for free at the occasion of Alt*Pride festival and in the community around the festival (queer people, homeless people, squatters, etc.). We target people who have risky behavior but are not comfortable visiting test facilities. In 2018 we assisted 31 people taking home tests, 4 of the results were reactive.
„Sestry Věčné Radosti“ are an official Czech branch of the international organization „Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence“ The SPI in Czech Republic
We saw the sisters in the Czech Republic for the first time at Prague Pride 2013. Sister Theresia Bavaria Nata Via Maia Prioressa the founder of the SPI Munich and Sister Vesta Rosa from Berlin together with Novice Sister Zenzi accepted the invitation of organizers and joined the Prague Pride parade. A few month later Sister Tharesia and Sister Vesta became the mentors and patrons of the firts novices of the Czech SPI order: Sister Magdalena Sylvestra Libidya and Sister Václavka Anežka Sugar. From Prague Pride 2016 is new Sisters: Miccella Ribbona Mia and Tomina Sallutena We will be forever grateful to our „Mama Theresa“ and „Mami Vesta“ for their love, kindnes, guidance, generosity and support. Thank YOU! So the mission of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence continues also in the Czech Republic: To promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and serve the (LBGTIQ) community.
History of the Order
The roots of today’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence date back to the year 1979: On Holy Saturday in San Francisco, the first „Sisters“ appeared. Already at that time, the members collected donations for the underprivileged people of the queer community to, for example, enable them to finance visits to the doctor or to solicit legal counsel. This small group of gay men were largely inspired by the Radical Faeries, a group that had made a name for itself in the San Francisco gay community since 1981. They organized atypical actions and were politically active by participating in marches and demonstrations. The costumes were found in a repository of the performance of the musical The Sound of Music in 1977 in the U.S. state of Iowa, in which one of the four founding sisters had participated. Against the background of the first cases of the then new and unknown disease of AIDS in 1982, some of the earliest attempts to bring attention to the new disease were staged by the Sisters. Sister Florence Nightmare and Sister Roz Erection, both nurses, joined with a team of Sisters to create „Play Fair!“, the first safer sex pamphlet to use plain language, practical advice and humor, and without „finger pointing of the moral high ground“. The focus on AIDS, HIV and safer sex work began to crystallize as a focus of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Likewise, they were among the first who organized a charity concerned (under the auspices of actress Shirley MacLaine) in support of those with HIV and AIDS. The Worldwide expansion Since 1984, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have spread worldwide. In addition to the international headquarters in San Francisco, CA/USA, there are other houses in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Russian River, CA and Philadelphia. The first house outside of the US was founded in Sydney, Australia as the Order of Perpetual Indulgence (OPI). In Europe, houses of the SPI and OPI were also founded, such as those in the UK (London, Manchester, and Edinburgh), Germany (Heidelberg, Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne), France (Paris, Bordeaux and Lille), Switzerland (Zurich) and Austria (Vienna). In Latin America, a house was founded in Colombia and one in Uruguay, although it can be extremely dangerous in these staunchly Catholic countries, often with a very traditional understanding of gender roles, for a man to be seen in women’s clothing — much less in a nun’s habit — in public. Over the years, several million dollars for HIV and AIDS projects worldwide have been collected by the community, and countless brochures and safer sex materials were distributed. Today there are about 1,500 Sisters who join the fight against AIDS and all the other sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. The community is now also open to heterosexual and female members.