In August, many cities’ and counties’ law enforcement agencies participated in a National Day of Johns Arrest. It’s a start at a coordinated effort to tell men, “don’t buy women for sex.” People debate about whether prostitution should be legal, but evidence increasingly shows that legitimizing prostitution makes sex slavery worse, not better. Here’s my conclusion… legal prostitution creates an incentive to supply cheap prostitutes, and human traffickers are willing and able to provide. In places where prostitution is illegal, arresting the prostitutes and pimps has little effect and further victimizes the women, many of them underage. On the other hand, Sweden has shown that when they focus on making buying prostitution illegal, and direct their law enforcement efforts at the buyers of sex, the incidence of prostitution goes down, and so does human trafficking.
Imagine for a moment if there were zero customers for commercial sex. There would be no prostitution, and therefore no sex trafficking. Of course, there will never be zero customers, but you get the idea. Reduce demand, and you’ll reduce the market for sex slaves. Yes, we need to continue to rescue and rehabilitate sex trafficking victims. But we also need to focus preventative efforts on reducing demand. One way is to educate men and boys that it’s unacceptable to buy women for sex. An additional step is to focus law enforcement efforts at arresting prostitution customers. There should no longer be a “boys will be boys” attitude about prostitution, because that response ignores the victims — the girls and women who are too often coerced into providing sex to the “boys.”
Fortunately, US law enforcement is slowly starting to turn attention away from the prostitutes/victims, and realize that the problem won’t go away until customers stop buying. Those are my opinions based on the reading I’ve done. Please leave a comment with your thoughts. Find out if your city/county participated. Urge law enforcement in your community to focus their vice resources on fighting demand.
You can read more at Demand Abolition
Or view a press release, also at Demand Abolition
For more research, check out the book The Johns by Victor Malarek on the Non-fiction books page.