If you really want to solve the problem of massage brothels, hold the sex buyers accountable.
Lisa Trigg’s July 6 article, “Four face prostitution charges after months-long investigation,” highlights an important problem facing cities across the country, including Terre Haute: modern-day brothels poorly disguised as “massage” parlors. Real people’s lives are at stake. According to Polaris, which operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, “the average illicit massage business has two to three women being forced to provide commercial sex inside.” Most victims don’t disclose the true story until they’ve received weeks — and sometimes months — of restorative services.
Unfortunately, despite an 11-month investigation, it appears the real culprits have gotten away: the men sneaking to these brothels to buy sex illegally. It’s simple economics. Sex buyers are the “demand” that drives the underground market; their behavior poisons communities, destroys families, and harms vulnerable women and girls.