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Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the U.S.

NCJ Number
250305
Date Published
Author(s)
National Institute of Justice
Annotation
This article details an NIJ-funded project that provides a descriptive overview of initiatives targeting the demand for commercial sex in the U.S. and offers practitioners actionable information to assist them in starting, improving, or sustaining initiatives.
Abstract
This project provides a descriptive overview of initiatives targeting the demand for commercial sex in the U.S. and offers practitioners actionable information to assist them in starting, improving or sustaining initiatives. A number of criminal justice interventions and collaborative programs that combat prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation by focusing on reducing demand for commercial sex have emerged. Studies have found that the use of anti-demand approaches in the U.S. is more widespread than previously thought. However, little research or descriptive information is available about most of these interventions. Additionally, many communities attempting to address “demand” have not had access to lessons learned from the experiences of other communities. As a result, some initiatives have struggled or failed when faced with challenges that had been solved elsewhere. Although this was not a formal evaluation, the report includes information about assessments of demand reduction activities. The authors note that successful demand-side interventions include: 1) “John schools” and “john shaming;” 2) Reverse prostitution stings (street-level, brothel-based and web-based); 3) Community education programs; 4) Seizing cars involved in purchasing sex and suspending drivers’ licenses; and 5) The Swedish model: focusing on arresting and prosecuting the purchasers of commercial sex.
Date Created: October 23, 2016