I had wanted to start this note by telling you about the amazing news of another NH Graduation! Instead, the story of Robert Kraft has my fingers shaking as I write this, so please be sure to look at the next note to read about the event. Actually, Kraft himself isn’t the story here, but instead what he represents and how this story is bringing human trafficking into the headlines.
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, represents the hundreds of thousands of “buyers” who solicit sex and go to great lengths to purchase a sexual act with a woman. My first point: without the demand, there would be no supply. My guess is that Kraft has a sex addition, a very real issue that requires help. If you are struggling with a sex addition, please get help. Like any addiction, the pull of the addiction will win out if you don’t get help and find freedom from your addiction.
Second point: very rarely, if ever, is a woman selling herself. Of all the women we’ve met in or through Naomi’s House, not one got into the sex industry because she chose to. Instead, they were coerced, forced, manipulated, and/or threatened. A trafficker often lures a woman into a romantic relationship before forcing her to sell her body. If she tries to run, escape, or fight against him, the consequences lead to violence and further entrapment. There is nothing “Pretty Woman” about prostitution.
Third point, the punishment for Kraft, according to Florida law will be something like this:
“100 hours of community service, attend a prostitution and human trafficking awareness course, undergo screening for sexually transmissible diseases, and pay a $5,000 civil fine. In addition to these mandatory penalties that must be imposed in every case that results in a conviction for Solicitation of Prostitution, a judge can also impose [additional] penalties based upon whether a person is a first time offender or a repeat offender.”
If found guilty, Kraft will get fined (and he has billions of dollar, btw). If the trafficker is prosecuted, and convicted, his punishment will be more severe. Thankfully, Florida aggressively prosecutes traffickers.
But the victims … According to our experience with women at Naomi’s House, a trafficked woman has survived the most traumatic experience of her life. When a woman arrives at NH, she has no valid ID (her trafficker kept it), she hasn’t seen a doctor in years, and she’s been separated from her family and loved ones (often those relationships are severed because of the relationship she had with her trafficker). Additionally, 100% of the women we serve suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses because of the trauma. And it must be noted that trauma doesn’t just impact the brain, but the entire body-causing digestive issues, hair loss, skin issues, sleeplessness, and an inability to regulate one’s body systems. A person who suffers from PTSD lives in a heightened state of awareness and struggles to live in the present.
So this story is big. It puts a spotlight on one of the largest, most lucrative crimes we face in our world today. And it vividly reminds us of why the ministry of Naomi’s House is so important. As our latest graduate said at her graduation, “Without Naomi’s House, I would be dead.”
Thank you for walking with Naomi’s House month after month. You are doing your part in the fight against human trafficking when you pray for us, volunteer with us, financially support us. As dark as the Robert Kraft story is, the rising of victims who are learning to live their lives again is much, much brighter!
Blessings to you,