NEW YORK (PIX11) — Advocates, survivors and community leaders are demanding New York City do more to protect victims of sex trafficking and prostitution.
The group believes the increasing rate of the sex trade is due to the demand. They want the city to go after sex buyers, or “Johns,” in hope to cut the supply and slow down the trade.
“Our leaders are failing these victims and failing these neighborhoods where the sex trade has been allowed to run rampant. This must changed,” said Sonia Ossorio, the executive director of the National Organization for Women New York.
Last week, Mayor Eric Adams went to Jackson Heights in Queens to assess the situation after getting complaints about prostitution.
Ossorio wants to hear the mayor’s plan and said it’s not about “cleaning things up;” it’s about targeting those who are going after the city’s most vulnerable including children.
Melanie Thompson, a survivor of sex trafficking, said at age 12 she was forced into a dark place. She said people involved in the sex trade should not be called “sex workers.”