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10 Things You Can Do To Stop Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

1. Work to help women gain supportive housing and jobs that pay a living wage
2. Advocate for shelters and clinics equipped and staffed to offer medical and psychological treatment for women
3. Educate young girls and boys on the harms of prostitution and how to avoid becoming a victim of sexual exploitation
4. Challenge society’s sexist views of women. Fight against pornography and other forms of media that continue to objectify women
5. Change language- stop using words such as “pimp”, “ho” and “whore” and challenge your friends when they use similar language
6. Support legislation aimed at stopping sexual exploitation and expanding options for prostituted individuals
7. Make sure the needs of sexually exploited individuals are being addressed in the domestic violence community, the sexual assault community, among homeless rights advocates and among individuals working to fight substance addiction
8. Pressure local CAPS and police enforcement to go after those purchasing sex instead of those selling it
9. Hold media and financial institutions accountable in regards to the ads they run that promote prostitution
10. Raise public awareness! Host book clubs, film screenings and art projects to raise awareness about the issue. Also join in local awareness raising initiatives such as the upcoming Rescue and Restore campaign.


  1. Well said, a million times over. These are all things I do as often as I can. I can only hope that in my little corner of the world it’s helping some. Though, it feels like being a speck of sand at the bottom of an ocean of misogyny, I admit.

  2. I love the simplicity and direct suggestions on your list. I will use this as a check list for our small group of individuals who have committed themselves to the abolition of sexual exploitation of children and women.

  3. Hi! I live in South Africa where prostitution is legal. An entire page of classifieds of our local newspaper is dedicated to sex ‘work’. Is it possible to hold this media accountable?

  4. Of course we can hold them accountable. You can do that by pointing out the harms of pornography/prostitution itself, which the newspaper is advertising. Tell as many people as possible (and see other approaches to this issue on this blog). Or if you know that someone has been directly hurt by the newspaper’s advertising, you could talk with a lawyer who understands the harm-based approach that Dworkin and MacKinnon have written about – and you can try that.

  5. I have been trying to ascertain the whereabouts and general welfare of a friend from long, long ago, especially after I found out from some creepy canadian websites (“covered” by Spyware) indicating she had been involved with a lot of sex-trade work in the SE Fla area. Personally I’m still NOT sure, but these sites all seemed to have a consistent pattern. All of a sudden these sites seemed to vanish into thin air over Veteran’s Day ’07. She and I have long been estranged as a couple, 35+plus years, but I wouldn’t have ever guessed in a million years that she would’ve gotten into this line of work or hung out with this kind of characters. I’m hoping and praying its all a mistake. But, how can I find out if she’s alright and hopefully out or never was into all of this. I began this search shortly after starting a book for mentally ill people and I wanted to put in a very discrete “thank you” for her kindness and alertedness to signs of bipolar mania surfacing during that year we were engaged.
    I don’t have the money to spend on search machines which aren’t all that reliable. (I checked myself on zabasearch only to find myself still listed as living in a FL addresss I left over a quarter-century ago!)
    Any help, advice, tips, assistance will be more than greatly appreciated.
    Y’know, what’s really hurt me is the
    dearth of so many churches, especially evangelical churches lifting a finger to help these oppressed women in our own nation. Overseas work is increasing, but not much seems to be getting done here by the same people so quick to pontificate about “moral values.” What if it was one of their friends and close loved ones?
    This has even derailed my plans on getting this book finished due to the emotional impact it’s had on me; and I haven’t even seen this person in over 35 years! Thanks, s.

  6. Iam a survior and a advocate for women trying to exit the lifestyle of prostitution. I love your site.

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