To help communities and law enforcement officials throughout the United States address prostitution and human trafficking, Abt Associates has developed a first-of-its kind resource —Demandforum.net— that offers comprehensive information on initiatives in over 900 cities and counties that aim to combat prostitution by preventing men from buying sex.
The website was a result of Abt’s nationwide assessment of sex trafficking demand-reduction efforts conducted for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NIJ tapped Abt Associates in 2008 to document anti-demand tactics and initiatives throughout the United States. The resulting report, “A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts,” includes description of tactics such as reverse stings – where police pose as prostituted women – and john schools, which attempt to discourage first-time offenders from repeat offenses by teaching them about the negative legal, health and community-level consequences of their actions.
Researchers found that there were hundreds of programs in the U.S. that were targeting demand for commercial sex, but very little opportunity to share information on these programs. Demandforum.net offers detailed descriptions of anti-demand tactics employed throughout the U.S., as well as challenges faced by programs and how they overcame them.