Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
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In a Shift, Anti-Prostitution Effort Targets Pimps and Johns
Washington Post Thursday, December 15, 2005; A01
Excellent Balanced Major Article in Respected Newspaper Highlights

Dave's comments: As I always do I scream what about the 90% of "prostitutes" who are private consenting adult sexworkers that are not working for pimps, are not 14 year old children on the street, are not being trafficked against there will, are not public nuisance street hookers!!! Yet in the minds of most of the religious right who knows what is best for us and the Feminists, a prostitutes is a prostitute, no matter what age and no women gives consent for such abuse as prostitution. THAT is the issue we need to educate the public about!

In most all the world consenting adult private sexwork is legal with no big negative issues! Yes outlaw street hookers, outlaw under aged and pimping as it already is illegal. BUT STOP THIS NONSENSE that a the law should deny the rights of consenting adult women to choose healthy private sexwork as THEIR CHOICE as they do in almost all the world except the U.S. !! More at Decriminalize Private Adult Sexwork Coalition at  End of rant - back to article:

The john peeked into the massage parlor. "Hi, sweetie," said Kim, the manager of the Korean-run club in downtown Washington. The john, a tall man in his fifties, stepped inside, smiling anxiously. He wore a chaste white shirt and sharply parted hair, and he smelled as if he'd had a drink. "Look at his face -- very tired," Kim said as he went inside. "Sad people come. Stress people. This customer stay 30 minutes, then happy. Everybody happy."

Not everybody. A national campaign against prostitution has intensified in political, nonprofit and law enforcement circles, so much so that yesterday the House unanimously passed novel legislation, with the Senate expected to follow. In the past, police sweeps have focused on the women. The new federal law would grant state and local law enforcement agencies funds to investigate and prosecute the men -- brothel owners and pimps. It would also target for arrest customers like the one at Kim's parlor lurching toward a girl in a bikini.

"You're out of luck," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), summing up the bill's message to the customers. "The johns use and abuse these young women," said Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio). "And pimps -- you can call them slaveholders, the masters out in the field."

The attitudes of Pryce, who introduced the legislation in the House, and Cornyn, a sponsor in the Senate, reflect a shift in how the government and the public respond to the sex industry. Traditionally, women have been blamed as the source of the problem. But Pryce calls prostitution "modern-day slavery" in which teenage girls are exploited and men fuel the crime.

Behind the scenes, an unlikely coalition of evangelicals, feminists, liberal activists and conservative human rights advocates are pushing the issue. They are trying to reframe the way people talk about prostitutes, calling them "survivors" and signing off e-mails with the slogan "Abolition!"

On a local level, in the past three years, 12 states have passed anti-sex-trafficking legislation, which says that women who are prostituted through coercion, and minors who are sold for sex, are victims. In 15 other states, similar bills have been introduced. Although prostitution is illegal nationwide except in certain Nevada counties, advocates for the legislation said that enforcement and penalties for pimps and johns have been weak, including a tolerance for brothels that advertise as massage parlors.

"We want to drive a stake through the heart of these venal criminals," said Michael J. Horowitz, a coalition leader and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. "This is pure evil."

This is bad news for the john at Kim's parlor, who lumbered out the door 37 minutes after he entered. His smile had relaxed. He looked as though he had just won a long-odds bet. Squinting in the afternoon light, he got into his car to drive home to Virginia, as he does every month after having sex, he said. Then he heard about the legislation.

"Do I look like a criminal?" scowled the man, who gave his name as "John." "I'm a middle-class, law-abiding single white professional. Let me have my fun." "John" said that the women offer a service to the community, that it is a victimless crime and that lawmakers should concentrate on more important issues, such as the war in Iraq.

"It's like going to a doctor. A love doctor," he said. He spread his fingers, as if to show his hands were clean: "Is this a problem?"

Penelope Saunders, director of Different Avenues, which works with marginalized communities, said that "according this bill, all the men who are buying commercial sex are monsters -- and that's simply not true." Some johns help sex workers by reporting violent pimps, she said. Scaring away regular customers would force prostitutes into riskier behavior. Saunders said that calling these women "victims of sexual slavery" is inaccurate, patronizing and a "thinly veiled effort" to promote a conservative moral agenda.

But to Barrett Duke, a coalition member and vice president at the Southern Baptist Convention, the comparison to slavery is apt. He draws inspiration from 19th-century Christians. They fought the slave trade in England by working with "people of good will, who were not Christians, who understood that trade of human flesh was an abomination."

Frundt, now a counselor at the Polaris Project, said that the average age of girls who enter the sex trade is 13. Like victims of domestic violence, she said, the girls are afraid to leave their pimps. They call their pimps "Daddy." If they report a pimp -- "He's going to beat your butt." It was stories such as Frundt's, said Cornyn, that convinced him he should fight for the legislation. "A victimless crime?" he said. "Yeah, right, that's a lie."

And yet for Frundt and for others in the coalition, it is hard to believe that anyone would care. Norma Hotaling, founder of the SAGE Project Inc., a drug and mental health program for women in San Francisco, has a metal plate in her head with wires and screws from a pimp who delivered a "bitch slap" when she refused to work.

About 50 detectives were watching a training video on human and sexual trafficking at the Washington Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. Men with shaved heads who were chewing on toothpicks, burly men in leather jackets -- recoiled, appalled. A 14-year-old girl, the narrator said, had been locked in a room and was forced to have sex with 30 men a day.

In cities around the country, U.S. attorney's offices, the FBI, local prosecutors and nongovernmental organizations are developing similar task forces. The new legislation would assist them because, in addition to funding shelters for ex-prostitutes and sponsoring a statistical survey of prostitution, it would authorize $25 million a year to law enforcement to reduce demand. Techniques would include using female decoys, posting pictures of johns on the Internet and establishing "john schools" to reeducate sex clients.

I omitted a lot in this summary, full article at