On February 22, 2019, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, was charged with soliciting prostitution from a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida. Although the bust of the spa where Kraft was charged, along with several other spas in the surrounding towns, was successful in a) charging numerous sex buyers and b) acting as the tip of the iceberg to the associated international human trafficking investigation, our Survivor Advocate community at Alabaster Jar Project knows that this only confirms several tragic truths:
Sex trafficking is happening on US soil, even in affluent communities.
Buying sex has become more accessible with use of the internet, as the particular spa where the sting took place has several reviews on websites and apps like Yelp! which indicate that it provided adult services.
Countless survivors, like the women in Florida, are affected by tragedies like this and need help in rebuilding their lives
We don’t see this as another scandalous tabloid headline about the New England Patriots. We see the women who are affected, who were promised a better life and legitimate work, only to have their rights taken away and be forced into the adult industry against their will.
This case seems small when we realize that massage parlors involved in human trafficking can be found virtually anywhere in the United States, including one investigated last June in Poway. Sometimes we may even find ourselves driving past such places. We may wonder for a moment if our suspicions are valid, then get distracted with our lives and move on, because we have that benefit: We are able to move on with our lives while the women inside these spas perceive no safe options to leave exploitation.
Fortunately, there are many ways that everyone in our community can help end massage parlor trafficking. As suggested on websites like Polaris Project, our community can always:
Use political activism: We can call our city council members to let them know we want strong laws to prevent massage parlor trafficking and protect exploited women.
Use our media sources to shift attention to helping the women who are affected.
Share what you know: Never encourage “happy ending” jokes. Educate those in your circle about why massage parlor human trafficking is not a laughing matter.
Call the NHTRC Hotline Number and report suspicious activity 1-888-373-7888; your anonymous tip could help someone
By making small changes in our daily life, we can all take baby steps towards helping survivors of human trafficking and holding sex buyers and traffickers accountable for their crimes. When we all make these small changes, our entire community will evolve.
by Amanda Moon Ellevis