How Do We Reduce Demand?

In January 2016, more than 100 programmers and technologists pooled their skills at a hackathon to develop imaginative projects to disrupt the demand that fuels sex trafficking.

During the four year initiative, CEASE Network cities developed new tactics and leveraged technology for smarter, more efficient, and cost-effective approaches to addressing demand. These data-driven demand reduction techniques were measured regularly to track progress. CEASE Network promoted a law enforcement approach that shifted from arresting prostituted persons—often victims of trafficking—to holding buyers accountable. Members sought to deter potential buyers and educate the public about the harms of prostitution.  

  • Hold Buyers Accountable
    More information and better protocols led to smarter law enforcement practices to consistently hold buyers accountable, no matter who or where they were.   
  • Deter Potential Buyers
    CEASE Cities were engaged in deterrence programs to stop men from buying in the first place. This was often done through campaigns that exposed buyers to the risks of their behaviors, online deterrence through targeted decoy ads, and law enforcement and civilian-led cyber patrols which disrupted buyers at the point of sale.
  • Educate the Public
    Schools, colleges, public health offices, mental health professionals, and more needed to understand their role in preventing men from buying sex and the harm involved in prostitution.  

“The value of being a member of the CEASE network is having this incredible knowledge base from all over the country, from all different types of organizations…and harnessing all those unique perspectives to really help build the best tactics possible.”
– Emily Johanna Freeborn, Houston Coordinator