"Businesses can't stay afloat if they don't have buyers, and that's what these efforts are about in over 900 U.S. communities-discouraging men from buying sex," said Michael Shively, Ph.D., developer of the website and senior associate in Abt's U.S. Health Division.
According to Shively
, the idea to build the website was a result of Abt's nationwide assessment of sex trafficking demand-reduction efforts conducted for the National Institute of Justice
(NIJ) beginning in 2008.
"We found hundreds of programs in the U.S. that were targeting the demand for commercial sex but most were operating in isolation.
Staff from one program didn't often know about other programs in a neighboring state.
We found through our research that police and community organizations and other stakeholders interested in ending sex trafficking and prostitution welcome the opportunity to learn what others were doing, and to share their information as well."
Demandforum.net offers detailed descriptions of anti-demand tactics employed throughout the U.S. as well as challenges faced by programs and how they overcame them.
"This is a place where practitioners can find information that can help them start, improve or sustain initiatives," said Shively
The site also features a map of the U.S. with markers over areas of the country where programs are offered.
Visitors to the site need only click on the marker to link to a description of the program or use the drop down menu to find programs and tactics.
The site also offers a wide range of resources about anti-demand tactics, including media coverage and interviews, and information on organizations and agencies working to end demand or provide survivor support, reference materials and a blog.
Anti-demand tactics appear successful, according to the evaluation and feasibility studies that Shively
team conducted on the john school in San Francisco for NIJ