Jan 28, 2012
by April Hedrick

Who’s to blame?

In most places in the United States prostitution is illegal. But while there are always two people involved most of the time the focus from law enforcement is on the prostituted person. In essence the crime is the fault of the supplier, not the buyer, the “john”. This emphasis not only decriminalizes men committing illegal behavior but perpetuates the victimization of women. Why not get to the root of the problem? Why not prosecute the buyers and decrease the demand?

Sweden is one country has done just that and is a shining example of what can be if we reverse our thinking. They are having tremendous success in reducing the number of prostituted individuals in their country since they switched the focus to the demand side. Their official documents explain their position:

"In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem ... gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them."

Our country has a long way to go to change the laws, but do we not also have a long way to go to change society’s perception? Who do we view as the guilty party?

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