Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved a four-pronged set of initiatives to combat local problems with sex trafficking and prostitution, which, hopefully, will complement current and proposed state legislation.
Cincinnati’s city administration will begin evaluating local courts’ practices in human trafficking and prostitution cases, including how frequently judges are suspending offenders’ driver’s licenses and mandating HIV and venereal disease testing and treatment upon prostitution convictions.Making sure those restrictions are enforced should be helpful in driving down demand for “johns,” or prostitution clients, by making soliciting more difficult. In addition, lighting studies will be conducted in area notorious for prostitution to evaluate whether there’s a need for surveillance cameras or increased street lighting.
According to the Ohio Human Trafficking Commission’s “2012 Domestic Sex Trafficking in Ohio, one-third of Cincinnati trafficking victims were manipulated into trafficking before age 18. The most common buyers of trafficking victims in Cincinnati were drug dealers, factory workers and truckers; buyers of sex were most frequently middle-aged white and African-American men, according to the report.
What remains one of the world’s largest industries, City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson admits, will probably never fully vanish, but that shouldn’t deter all progress.
“Every prostitute you take off the street and give a better life, that’s one less,” Simpson says. “We refuse to believe there’s nothing we can do. You give it all you’ve got.”
Learn more at Hannah McCartney’s City Beat article: Stopping Traffick.