Last week the US Senate voted in support of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), which includes the most significant demand prevention language in a decade. This legislation is a historic step forward in combating the demand for purchased sex, and holding sex buyers accountable for fueling America’s nearly 10-billion-dollar illegal commercial sex industry.
Demand Abolition commends the Senate for recognizing that sex buying is an exploitive crime that harms tens of thousands of vulnerable victims—mostly women and girls—as well as sex buyers, their families, and communities nationwide.
The JVTA provides a new funding stream for victim services—paid for with dollars from convicted buyers and other criminals—as well as new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including an amendment that clarifies sex buying as sex trafficking under federal law.
From back alleys to Backpage.com, suburbs to cyber sites, human beings are bought and sold for sex in every corner of our country. No matter the medium, there’s one constant—rampant demand. Buyers make the choice to perpetuate a deeply damaging and illegal industry, while those being sold for sex are often vulnerable people with limited options.
The Senate is sending a clear message, one Demand Abolition has long advocated—no buyer, no business. The most efficient approach to ending sexual exploitation is targeting sex buyers: when they stop buying, the entire system of degradation collapses.