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What is Demand?

People who create demand for the sex trade are buying and selling human beings

Prostitution could not exist without the purchasers who create the demand for paid sex. Violence against women in the sex trade is pervasive, and yet our society has yet to stand up against the people who fuel the sex trade. The End Demand Illinois campaign raises awareness about the role that purchasers (often referred to as “johns”), pimps and traffickers play in perpetuating violence against women in the sex trade.

Purchasers or johns are the most frequently identified perpetrators of violence against women in prostitution. Violence from johns occurs on the street, in drug houses, in hotels, in escort services, and in exotic dancing venues. These perpetrators are rarely being held accountable. In Chicago two thirds of all prostitution-related arrests in Chicago are of women.

Johns, as well as the pimps and traffickers who profit from prostitution, have been largely ignored by law enforcement in the past. In 2008, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) conducted a study of 113 men who bought sex. The men in CAASE’s study revealed that men could be deterred from buying sex if they faced real consequences, such as fines of $1,000 or more or public accountability for what they had done.

Read CAASE's "Deconstructing the Demand for Prostitution" study here.


The End Demand Illinois campaign is shifting law enforcement's attention to sex traffickers and people who buy sex, while proposing a network of support for survivors of the sex trade.