EDITORIAL: Keep up sex stings, focus on rescues

2013-08-11T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Keep up sex stings, focus on rescues nwitimes.com
August 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The continuing crackdown on prostitution is important not just for upholding public health and decency, as was a concern in the past, but also because the prostitutes themselves require protection from harm and a transition to normal lives.

Prostitution is illegal, but realize prostitutes aren't necessarily willing participants in the crime. If they're coerced through fraud, force or threat, that's human trafficking. It happens to women, men, boys and girls.

In 2011, the FBI reported, almost 1,000 people were arrested in Indiana for either prostitution or patronizing a prostitute.

The temptation might be to look at prostitutes as evil temptresses, but there's often more to the story.

"We're taking a closer look at who these women are," Lake County Sheriff John Buncich told Times reporter Anna Ortiz. Buncich has assigned a full-time detective to investigate human trafficking concerns.

The FBI said about 8 in 10 suspected human trafficking incidents between 2008 and 2010 involved sex.

"It's definitely a problem," Buncich said. "Our investigations have shown that there is something to this. There is something going on here."

That's why the Sheriff's Department and Hammond police worked together on two sting operations in July.

"What we're doing is going after the johns and also taking a closer look at these women and learning about who they are and finding which women are victims of human trafficking," Buncich said.

Prostitution can shorten an individual's life expectancy to just 34 years, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Fighting prostitution is an ancient but urgent problem.

Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller is concerned that tolerating prostitution could fuel other crimes.

"This brings criminals into Hammond to look for the girls, people like murderers and robbers. We don't want to bring war into the city."

As with drugs, prostitution is fueled by customer demand. That's why police are targeting the customers, not just the prostitutes. Demand for paid sex must be reduced.

Further, coerced prostitutes must be freed from this awful life of crime, and social workers must find them the support they need to become physically and emotionally healthy.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"

Questions?

Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357

Poll

Loading…

Should struggling small school districts merge with their neighbors?

View Results