That’s the number of American men who will buy sex at some time during their lives. That number may seem exaggerated, but not when you look at the fact that 100,000 children will be trafficked in the U.S. this year.
That means that there are a lot of men out there who buy children for sex.
But this doesn’t have to continue. We can stop this.
How do we stop these men from buying sex? And how do we ensure that they won’t fall back into their old ways?
Several means of deterring buyers, “johns”, have been tried:
- Attending an educational “john school”
- Community service
- Greater penalties
- Putting their names in the newspaper, on a billboard, or on the internet
- More jail time
- Adding them to the sex offender registry
What’s the most effective method? What will stop these men from continuing to destroy the lives of these young girls?
According to a 2011 study on Boston buyers of sex, adding buyer’s names to the official sex offender registry is the greatest deterrent for johns. It beats out jail time, greater penalties, and community service. Unfortunately, it is also more effective than putting these men through “john school.”
Right now, it seems like cold, hard sentencing, and registering these men on the sex offenders list is the best way to deter buyers of sex.
But who’s to say that couldn’t change?
Could these men be reeducated? One john who went through a reeducation program in Tennessee said: “I’m so embarrassed … These girls are somebody’s daughters. I have a daughter.” He changed. Could other men be effectively taught that these girls they’re buying are someone’s daughter or sister?
We hope so.
What about you? What can you do today to turn johns into Defenders?
Give time, give money, and educate yourselves and others about America’s serious problem of sex trafficking. Spread the word.