“It’s time to change the belief that prostitution is a victimless crime, many sex workers are, in fact, victims themselves,” Rep. Linehan said in a prepared statement. “That we continue to punish sex workers, many of whom have been coerced into this work or do it out of economic desperation, without looking at the other side of the equation just doesn’t make sense. We need to shift the focus to the consumers, and by increasing penalties for soliciting sex we can decrease the demand.”
A recent study by the Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council found that sex workers were seven times more likely to be convicted of a crime than ‘johns.’
“The Legislature’s Trafficking in Persons Council has embarked on a Connecticut Campaign Against Demand in order to focus attention on those buying sex. When men buy sex they create demand which fuels sex trafficking in our state. Representative Linehan, and the legislation she has introduced, recognizes the importance of targeting buyers in order to prevent the sex trafficking of our state’s women and children,” Jillian Gilchrest, Chairwoman of the Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council, said.
Under Connecticut law, a misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail but does not automatically result in jail time. Class C felony charges have a minimum jail sentence of one year if found guilty.