A basic tenet of economics is that demand drives business. But the heart of the sex industry is the very real lives of girls, boys, men and women whose lives are forever damaged by rape, violence, forced drug use and emotional trauma.
Programs like Alternatives For Girls have been serving victims of human trafficking for decades. Additional funding is needed to expand housing, therapeutic care, job training and long-term support options. The funding for programs like this starts with generous individuals and strong government and foundation support, but it should also come from those driving the sex industry: the buyers.
A state tax on strip clubs and pornography — while increasing penalties for strip clubs allowing prostitution and for individuals found soliciting — could substantially contribute to the funding needed to support human trafficking victims as they attempt to recover and rebuild their lives.