Peter Wolfgang: Show Us the Faces of the 'Johns' Instead


This is something that has bugged me the whole 13 years I’ve lived in Waterbury, Connecticut.

I get what our local newspaper is doing. Shame the women. Put their names and faces right out there and they will get out of that line of work. But it never works.

And why would it? Look at those poor women. Look at their sadness. Look at their bruises!

What those photos elicit in me is pity, not whatever sort of moral outrage the paper is expecting from the public.

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“Carrying out undercover operations in the area (Willow Street) has become a routine response to complaints from residents, yet women keep returning to the area,” reads the article.

Because that’s where the customers are, duh.

A few years ago FIC worked with activist Raymond Bechard in passing an anti-human trafficking law. I remember a former prostitute at our press conference talking about how it was married men at Travelers, Aetna, Pratt and Whitney, etc. who would pay the hourly rate at the hotels at the Berlin Turnpike to be with her. “They all loved their families,” she said contemptuously.

Maybe you can’t catch those guys because real life isn’t the movies. Maybe the police don’t send their female officers out pretending to be prostitutes because it would be too dangerous for them.

But that’s what you have to do.

You have to catch those married men who supposedly love their families and put THEIR faces in the newspaper.

Then watch the market for prostitution dry up overnight once the community knows who and what they are.

But shaming these poor women accomplishes absolutely zip.

It just adds to their misery.

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Editor’s Note: The Republican-American has since deleted the article featured in this piece titled, “City police charge 15 with prostitution.”

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Peter Wolfgang joined the Family Institute of Connecticut as Director of Public Policy in 2004 and became Executive Director in 2007. Peter holds a Juris Doctorate from University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar.