Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Illinois Man Buys Sex on Honeymoon

Photo by Jeremy Keith
 Maybe you’ve seen the story today. A man from Illinois was busted after allegedly soliciting sex while he was on his honeymoon in Orlando. It’s a nightmare scenario—a newly married man betraying his wife while on vacation together. Of course it’s getting a lot of attention. It’s dramatic and terrible.

And yet. Within the world of men who buy sex, it’s seen as entirely normal. When CAASE interviewed men who buy sex in Chicago, we found that men who buy sex do have wives and girlfriends, and they know that buying sex can cause harm to their relationships. In that study:

  • 62% of men interviewed said they had a regular sex partner (girlfriend or wife).
  • 75% of men interviewed thought that harm is done to a marriage if a man buys sex, even if his wife doesn’t know about it.

We don’t know what motivated this particular man to buy sex, but it’s time to have more honest conversations about the realities of demand. That's why CAASE is talking to young men sooner about these issues, and raising awareness about the role of demand in perpetuating the sex trade.

Why do you think demand is usually ignored, but this story is getting so much attention?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Action Alert! Final Vote to Eliminate Felony Prostitution in Illinois with SB 1872

End Demand Illinois' bill to eliminate felony prostitution in our state (SB1872) will likely be called in the House this week. It has passed in the Senate, so this is the final vote needed to pass the bill.

Why Does This Matter?
We are very close to ending felony prostitution in Illinois. We want this bill to have bipartisan support, and representatives need to hear from people in their own districts that they care about this issue. The arrest and re-arrest of people in prostitution is a violation of human rights and an ineffective response. Women are being disproportionately punished with felonies for repeat prostitution offenses, while there is no similar upgrade for people who buy sex.

What Can You Do?
Call your state representative today. The call will only take a moment and will show your representative that people in her/his district care about ending felony prostitution.
  • Enter your address in this form to find your district.
  • Click on “confirm address.”
  • Scroll down to find your state representative and district, and call the representative in her/his Springfield office. 
  • You can say “I'm a constituent calling to ask the Representative to support SB1872 and vote YES to eliminate felony prostitution in Illinois."
What's Next?
We are proud to have an impressive list of organizational supporters, as well as the support of law enforcement partners: Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and the Illinois State's Attorneys Association. If you're interested in learning more, visit the Eliminating Felony Prostitution page.

Are you all fired up from this advocacy and want to do more?
Our allies at the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault are working on HB 1063 to remove the criminal statute of limitations for sex crimes against children. This bill reflects the reality of childhood sexual abuse, and the fact that many survivors of childhood sexual abuse are not able to come forward until later in life. If you would like to help, read their action alert and make phone calls to the senators listed on the second page.