DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the City of Dayton announced its ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ initiative aimed at reducing the demand for prostitution in the city.
The initiative will try to modernize the city’s longstanding practice of publishing the names and home addresses of people convicted of prostitution-related offenses as the buyer.
The names will now be published on this website.
Additionally, people who live near the convicted buyer will be notified by targeted ads on social media alerting them that someone in their neighborhood has committed these crimes. The ad will include a link to the above website where they will be able to find the names and addresses of the convicted individuals.
“Prostitution is a complex issue, but we know it follows the laws of supply and demand just like any other industry,” says Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “It is important that we focus on reducing demand because we know that the women involved in prostitution are almost never there by choice. Most are facing drug addiction and the impacts of childhood trauma, and some are victims of human trafficking.”
Officials say they are focusing on the buyers themselves because the women involved in prostitution are a particularly vulnerable type who typically end up in the sex trade occupation due to a number of outside factors.
A 2009 study of women who were regularly booked into the Montgomery County Jail and had at least one prostitution offense found that each one was addicted to at least one substance.
The Buyer’s Remorse campaign website also includes a list of resources for people involved in prostitution who are seeking help.
Research has found that the threat of publicly naming those who have bought or attempted to buy sex is likely to be the greatest deterrent against it.
“I want to say to men who come into Dayton for this,” said Dayton Police Major Brian Johns, “if you come into our home to purchase sex, then we’ll use the power of social media to follow you to yours.”