It’s hard to imagine, but we see it. Intentional sabotage. Right now we have a woman at Naomi’s House who is testing us. How far can she push the boundaries before we will kick her out? The very fact that she believes we would kick anyone out shows us exactly where and why she needs our help. Many women who come to NH are used to being told what to do and when to do it, and then expect consequences if they don’t follow the orders. This way of life isn’t just from their time under the control of a trafficker, but it is also similar to programming they may have received before coming to NH.
Some approaches to care are more institutional or punitive. But that’s not how we work. Our approach is different. First, it’s trauma-informed; we know from day one that any woman who comes to our program looking to start anew after suffering from commercial sexual exploitation has experienced severe trauma. To date, 100% of the women we’ve had at NH have been diagnosed with PTSD. We actually look for indicators of how trauma impacts a woman’s daily life so that we can work with her on those particular issues. For example, if a woman “breaks the rules” while with us, as long as she isn’t harming herself or others, she’ll receive what is called a Response Plan. She won’t get “privileges” taken away…although that’s what she might be expecting. Instead, we hone in on what is it that is causing the pushback. Why won’t she get out of bed on time? Why does she show disrespect to staff or other residents? Why does she refuse to do home contributions?
That’s what is happening with a woman we’re working with today. She wants to know if her pushback will eventually break us and we will deem her too much for our program. When she sees that the harder she pushes, the more creative we will get to help her heal, that’s when she’ll have a breakthrough. Grace will outlast her doubt. She’s never experienced this kind of persistent love — she cannot out-sabotage the love of God…there is no darkness that He cannot overcome with Jesus, the Light of the world!
Blessings to you,