Bulletin Reports

Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the United States

The National Institute of Justice funded a project that provides an overview of initiatives targeting the demand for commercial sex in the United States and offers actionable information for starting, improving, and sustaining proposals. Numerous criminal justice interventions and collaborative programs that combat prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation focus on reducing the demand.

Studies indicated that antidemand approaches in the United States appear more widespread than previously thought. However, little research or descriptive information exists regarding most of these interventions. Many communities attempting to address demand have not had access to lessons learned from the experiences of other populations. As a result, some programs have struggled or failed when faced with challenges that were resolved elsewhere. This report also includes information on assessments of demand-reduction activities.

The authors noted successful demand-side interventions.

  1. “John schools” and “John shaming”
  2. Reverse prostitution stings—street-level, brothel-based, and Internet-focused
  3. Community education programs
  4. Seizures of cars involved in purchasing sex and suspension of drivers’ licenses
  5. The Swedish Model—focus on arresting and prosecuting commercial sex purchasers

The complete report, NCJ 250305, can be read at www.ncjrs.gov.