The media has been talking about demand for paid sex lately. A lot.
In the past week, we’ve seen a spike in news stories calling out sex buyers for funding the illegal sex trade. Many of these pieces mention the work of Demand Abolition’s CEASE Network (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) and its members.
Here is a selection of recent high-impact coverage:
A thorough radio report by American Public Media Marketplace covered Seattle’s historic takedown of the sex-buying website Thereviewboard.net. Listen to this story to hear secretly recorded conversations between members of the “League,” an organized, underground sex-buying ring with potential links to sex trafficking. Listeners also will get a feel for the great lengths an undercover agent went through in order to infiltrate and bring down the League from the inside. CEASE Network’s Val Ritchey and Alex Trouteaud are interviewed.
Looking for more depth? Listen to the extended, 15-minute cut of report:
Working closely with her CEASE Network partners, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf recently launched a multimedia campaign to fight sex-buying in the Bay Area by placing social pressure on suspected sex buyers. The city launched a campaign to have residents jot down the license plates of suspected buyers and send that information to the police, who then send letters to the registered vehicle owners.
Read more about this innovative, community-based approach in the New York Times.
The editorial Board at the Bangor Daily News is in full support of Maine adopting Nordic model laws (legislation that criminalizes sex buyers, traffickers, and pimps, but not the prostituted people.) The editorial states:
“Nobody wants to see girls and young women manipulated and forced into sex trafficking rings, but until Maine can deter the customers from creating the demand for the lucrative underground market, it won’t stop. … [Portland police Officer Mark] Keller, who is on the frontlines in the fight against trafficking in the state, suggested Maine adopt the so-called Nordic model, which makes it legal for people to prostitute themselves but illegal to pimp, traffick or purchase sex. The model has been adopted by Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Canada.
Maine policymakers should consider this approach.”
Read the full story.
To see Demand Abolition’s response to this important editorial, you can see it here.
Siddharth Kara, modern slavery expert and long-time Demand Abolition advisor and ally, is celebrating the launch of his new movie “Trafficked,” based on his award-winning book ‘Sex Trafficking.’ Boston-area residents are invited to a special screening of the film on Thursday, September 29, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Carr Center at Harvard Kennedy School.
Starring Ashley Judd, Elisabeth Rohm, Anne Archer, and Sean Patrick Flanery, the film follows three girls from America, Nigeria and India who are trafficked through an elaborate global network and enslaved in a Texas brothel. Attendees will be treated to a Q & A session after the screening featuring Siddharth, Trafficked star Anne Archer, and Demand Abolition Founding Director Swanee Hunt.
Tickets are free, but available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Register here.
Also in Boston, Police Commissioner William Evans recently reaffirmed his department’s commitment to go after sex-buyers—not those exploited in the illegal sex trade—because buyers are the ones who pose the real threat to our communities. He told the hosts of the Greater Boston radio program:
“We’re going after the johns, as opposed to the young women out there, because [johns are] the ones who pose a real public health issue.”
You can listen to his full comments here. (Just skip ahead to 1:13:45 mark…)
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