Freedom Corner: The Issue of Demand Part II

In the last part: The Issue of Demand Part I, an open invitation was made to men to join the abolitionist movement. Today in Part II, we will focus on the statistics. What motivates men to participate in prostitution and by proxy, human trafficking? What do they believe about women in the sex trafficking industry? When we look at the facts it can add insight into future solutions and better ways to communicate with one another on this issue.

Prostitute / Vice in Scotland Investigation

All of the below statistics are from a 2012 Fact Sheet from NY State Anti-trafficking Coalition.

Why Do Men Participate in Prostitution?

  • 46-48% – of interviewees buy sex to obtain sex acts they could not get from a partner or are ashamed to ask of a partner.
  • 83% consider buying sex an addiction
  • 19% purchase sex to obtain a sense of companionship
  • Cultural reasons such as pornography (49% thought of women in porn as prostitutes).
  • Construction of masculinity (didn’t want people to think they weren’t a man) and workplace culture that may encourage the purchase of sex.

The same men in this study also acknowledge harm done to women in prostitution:

  • 49% of interviewees said that prostitution exploits a woman’s sexuality.
  • 42% stated that prostitution causes both physical and psychological damage.
  • 13% saw an act of violence perpetrated against a woman in prostitution.
  • 80% of interviewees thought that prostitution had an overall negative impact on communities.
  • 21% of interviewees did not think that it was possible for women in prostitution to be raped.
  • 75% of men observed a woman in prostitution with a pimp, and 40% bought a woman in prostitution who they identified as having a pimp or manager.
  • 27% of interviewees described the prostitute-pimp relationship as exploitative and harmful.

Crime & Legality
Estimates suggest that for every john arrested for attempting to buy sex, there are up to 50 women in prostitution arrested.

These statistics are mind-blowing considering that men acknowledge the harm being done, but participate anyway. It is equally appreciated that they were honest in their observations in the study.

What are we to do with this information? How do we reduce the demand for human trafficking?  The suggestions below are from a June, 2012, in an article called Reducing the Demand for Human Trafficking:

  • Operating web based stings, where johns are arrested after making contact with a decoy “prostitute” who is a police officer.
  • Brothel based reverse stings, where police close a brothel, make it look like it is still open and then arrest the johns who arrive.
  • Seizing cars of those who solicit prostitutes
  • Suspending drivers’ licenses of those who solicit prostitutes
  • Using surveillance cameras in anti-prostitution efforts
  • Education or treatment programs. A previous New Jersey sponsored study found a 40% reduction in recidivism (8.8 percent to 4.5%) in a john school program.

What can we conclude?

There is still much work to be done. We need men to come to the table on this issue as they have been largely missing in the abolition movement. Unless men get more involved we will be 50% effective.

The power of prayer can work many amazing results. It changes lives and transforms them in ways that the world and people cannot explain. That is God. Especially in the sex trafficking industry, prayer and activism go hand in hand. The transformational power of Jesus is our best resource and asset in healing the wound of modern day slavery. Please make this prayer request as part of your everyday routine. Talking to God is something we all can do. Anywhere, anytime. He wants to hear from all of us on big issues such as these. It is worthy to note that Jesus freed us all from the bondage of sin with his death on the cross and through his resurrection. God chose us. Now it is our turn to choose Him.

Who knows? When a personal relationship with God develops, mountains move.
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