Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Good News and Bad News about Johns' Arrests

There is good news from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart today that there has been another “National Day of Johns Arrests.” According to the release, Dart led a nationwide, 10-day effort. From the release:A total of 314 sex buyers also known as “Johns” were arrested and charged with nearly $475,000 in fines.”  

End Demand Illinois is proud to see that one of our law enforcement partners is holding johns, pimps and traffickers accountable. We were also glad to hear that prostituted people were “offered services and safe housing opportunities to assist them in leaving their current situation.” So many people in prostitution are there because they face no other choices, but a person buying sex is almost always there by choice.

While this is an important shift and a glimmer of hope, we must also realize that the majority of prostitution-related arrests in this country are still of prostituted women, and not the men who buy sex. Johns are not usually held accountable for the harm they cause, and that is why they continue to buy sex. We applaud Sheriff Dart for his leadership, and urge you to take action in your own communities to encourage law enforcement to address demand. We still read stories every day, like this one out of Springfield, where a woman is arrested and the john is either let go or goes unmentioned. The headline says it all: "Woman accused of prostitution." You can take action:

If you see a story in your local paper about women being arrested, but no mention of johns, pimps or traffickers, write a letter to the editor. Call you local representatives and tell them that you want to end demand in your neighborhood. Find ways to end harm and demand change using our toolkit with easy action steps. Visit www.caase.org and www.enddemandillinois.org to learn more.

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