Many of us rarely see evidence of prostitution in our neighborhood, but that does not mean it isn’t there. In our Internet age, many prostituted women are for sale on Craigslist and other sites. Even children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation online.
Homes and apartments in residential areas have become brothels. Many of these brothels cater to specific ethnic communities, promoted through the distribution of business cards to these ethnic groups and by word of mouth. Gangs run some of these brothels.
Whether it is street prostitution, Internet prostitution or home-based brothels, it is illegal (except in eleven counties in Nevada). All cases of child sexual exploitation are illegal.
So why should police make it a priority to enforce the anti-prostitution, soliciting, pandering and pimping laws in your community?
Prostitution is degrading and dehumanizing. It is the sale of body part access for a limited time. It is violence against women and children. Where prostitution occurs, so do other crimes such as assault and robbery. How is it in any way beneficial?
Some argue that it is a victimless crime. Try explaining that to a prostituted child or to the prostituted woman who was raped and beaten by a pimp or john. Try explaining that to the wife whose husband’s prostitution habit led to her newly acquired sexually transmitted disease. Try explaining that to the neighborhood residents who are sexually harassed when they leave their homes, find used condoms and other debris in their front yards, and suffer the decline in property values due to the increase in crime.
Where there is prostitution, there is sexual trafficking. Sexual trafficking is driven by the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. When the demand cannot be met, women and children are trafficked into the area to meet the demand. Decriminalization and legalization of prostitution increases the demand and gives free access to pimps and traffickers. If you are in doubt, research Amsterdam and see how they are dealing with the increase in crime and trafficking that accompanied their foray into legalization.
Because demand drives prostitution and sexual trafficking, the local police should be arresting the johns. Arresting prostituted women and children does not solve the problem. The supply side of the equation is filled by forcing women and girls into prostitution in order to meet the demand. If the demand side is addressed, the problem will decrease. Why? Because no one is forcing men to buy sex.
Sex is not necessary for survival. While human beings will die without food, water and adequate shelter, they will not perish without sex. Those who argue that they have needs and those needs must be met are merely selfish and self-centered. They are not in a life-threatening situation. The reality is that the women and children caught up in the horror of commercial sexual exploitation are the ones in life-threatening situations. They are exposed to diseases every time they are forced to perform sex acts on johns.
Pimps and traffickers rely on the demand created by men in search of sex to make money. Sex trafficking is big business and involves small operators and organized crime. Gangs have started selling women and children for sex because there is no start-up cost (just force them into prostitution) and the merchandise (also known as human beings) can be sold over and over and over again – sometimes 30-40 times a day. The victim suffers, and the pimps and traffickers rake in cash.
If you look in your local phone book, newspaper or Craigslist section, you will find ads for escorts, massage parlors, gentlemen’s clubs, etc. Some of the ads promise girls of all ages or specific ethnicity. Undoubtedly there are trafficking victims among them. And unless you live in Nevada, the “services” advertised are illegal. Local police should start the investigations with these “businesses” and shut them down. Any johns caught in the investigations should be arrested and held accountable.
Enforce the laws on the books, arrest the law breakers and restore respect, dignity and values to the neighborhood. This course of action will benefit everyone except the criminals.