To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Leigh Kohler, and I serve as the President of the Freedom Church Alliance. The Freedom Church Alliance is a group of churches (29 and growing) in our beloved city of Houston, united to fight human trafficking. It is our aim to see our city transformed from a place that is known as a hub for human trafficking to a city where every woman, child and man is protected and valued.
In the past, your newspaper has covered the problem of human trafficking in our city, and we are grateful for the awareness you have raised. I am writing to you today out of grave concern and angst over your recent story about the drive-through strip club in Houston. There was more to the story to report, and by not reporting this in a broader context, it likely promoted the club to some of your viewers. Law enforcement, survivors and others who have been actively engaged in anti-human trafficking efforts know firsthand the correlation between strip clubs and the problem of human trafficking. Your past reports have also conveyed this undeniable connection. We would have liked to see this included in your most recent story.
We would request that you carefully consider the mixed signals that are sent by speaking against human trafficking and then promoting a drive-through strip club. Simply put, how you frame a story like this has significant consequences for young women and girls who are victims of this industry. Please join us in working to make our city a place where all women are treated with integrity rather than as objects.
Thank you for your time and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments. We understand these are difficult days. Thank you for your service to our city. Our prayers are with you.