Equality Now & partner activists respond to a recent article on the role of demand in prostitution (NY Times)

September 30, 2012 - 06:15

 9/30/2012 -- New York Times -- "Ending the Demand Side of Prostitution"  Representative Carolyn Maloney, Equality Now & Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation respond to a recent New York Times article on the role of demand in prostitution.


To the Editor:

Sex trafficking is a billion-dollar criminal industry operating on the principles of supply and demand. No customer, no business. While providing services is vital, preventing exploitation is key.

Similar to countless survivors, Donna, who was featured in the article, had a history of abuse before entering prostitution at 13. For the next 12 years, she had “no other way out.” Social services help after trauma, but a long-term solution requires identifying the core cause.

To combat trafficking effectively, we must shrink the market, holding buyers and traffickers accountable and supporting those driven into prostitution.

The Swedish law provides guidance. Ten years after it passed, an independent evaluation found Sweden to be an “undesirable” destination for traffickers because fewer men buy sex.

In the United States, women and girls are repeatedly victimized by prostitution laws that arrest them rather than help them. And yet the real perpetrators continue to fuel the demand for commercial sex with impunity.

LAUREN HERSH
New York Director, Equality Now
New York, Sept. 24, 2012