The Illegal Commercial Sex Industry in Denver
Traditionally, Denver’s approach to reducing prostitution and sex trafficking has been to go after those who sell sex, rather than those who buy it. A report from The Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT) showed that, for years law enforcement tactics in the area disproportionately targeted the women selling sex—even though many were forced to do so out of fear, necessity, or addiction—while sex buyers were generally perceived as law-abiding citizens who made a mistake.
But all that is changing.
A majority of the Denver law enforcement community now recognizes sex-buyers as the root cause of the sex trade, and is making a concentrated effort to find them and hold them accountable for their actions. Denver PD currently conducts multiple sting operations every year to arrest buyers.
In addition, CEASE Denver is engaging in street and online john sting operations, posting decoy ads on john boards, collecting and reporting data of high frequency buyers, creating educational anti-demand workshops in local schools—and with their football players; as well as implementing peer-led youth prevention programs, and developing multiple public awareness campaigns aimed at stopping the demand for commercial sexual exploitation.