The headlines are enough to make a sane person crazy: Washington is broken, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked, and many legislators are more interested in retweets than governance. Thankfully, this isn’t the case when it comes to domestic sex trafficking. Members of Congress have moved forward serious anti-trafficking legislation in an open, collaborative manner; and are writing smarter laws that address the problem at its roots.
Previous efforts to curb sex trafficking mainly provided funding for victim services, sharpened penalties for traffickers, and documented problems in other countries. While that work is important and must continue, an increasing number of Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate have had the “ah-ha moment” of realizing that traditional policy approaches largely ignore the source of the problem: men who callously buy sex from vulnerable women and youth.