Racine, Wisconsin, June 22, 2015—Mayor John Dickert last week announced his commitment to combatting sex trafficking and sex-buying in Racine by advocating for policies that support victims and target the sex buyers who fuel the illegal sex trade. At the 83rd Annual Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, Mayor Dickert joined 277 mayors from across the country in unanimously signing a resolution calling for aggressive anti-trafficking interventions to reduce the demand for commercial sex, thereby lessening the associated public safety, economic, and health risks Wisconsin faces as a result of commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, the resolution asks Congress and the Obama Administration to fully implement the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, providing much needed funding to law enforcement agencies and victim support services.
“I call on all Mayors to reject any organization or group that holds conventions in our cities which glamorize this despicable act!” said Mayor Dickert “We do not condone the exploitation of young girls nor do we want your money.”
Focusing on eliminating the demand for sexual exploitation, the mayors urged that all anti-trafficking strategies hold sex buyers, pimps, and traffickers accountable for fueling this deeply damaging enterprise, and provide services to help prostituted people find other means of financial support. In addition to citywide strategies, the mayors also called on the federal government to quickly implement the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, the first comprehensive bill to address the domestic trafficking of American citizens. Recently passed by Congress, the JVTA provides funding for survivor services—partially paid for with dollars collected from convicted sex buyers and traffickers—as well as new tools for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes.
At the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Dickert—and all the signing mayors—advocated for demand reduction as a pragmatic, effective way to eliminate sexual exploitation. Sex buyers drive this illegal, harmful industry and are thereby helping fund other associated criminal and societal problems, such as gun violence, gangs, and drug addiction the resolution states.
“Every day, sex buyers make the choice to perpetuate a deeply damaging industry that hurts vulnerable people and harms our communities,” said Ziba Cranmer, Executive Director of Demand Abolition, a non-profit working to eliminate the harms created by commercial sexual exploitation by reducing the demand for purchased sex. “Holding buyers accountable for their choices, while supporting survivors exploited by the industry, is critical to the safety and well-being of all citizens. Take away the buyers, and you take away the primary funders of this abusive industry.”