Valley Leaders Look At Sex Trafficking From The Traffickers Perspective

April 10, 2014

(Photo by Alexandra Olgin-KJZZ)
More than 300 people attended the 2nd Annual Sex Trafficking Summit by the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at ASU.

In 2012, nearly 300 people were arrested for prostitution in Phoenix. That is according to a state report. Experts believe that is just a small percentage of the victims. A seminar Wednesday focused on stopping the problem at the source; buyers and traffickers.

More than 300 people gathered in Phoenix on Wednesday to talk about sex trafficking. The seminar hosted by Arizona State University’s Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research brought in experts from Connecticut who started their own program to stop youth from becoming sex traffickers or buyers.

Anthony Gay is co-founder of the I Am project, a 10 week program for young men to talk about their attitudes towards prostitution. They started this program on their own more than two years ago. Gay said it's about prevention.

“If we could cut them off before we get to that road and give them some insight on what it’s like for that woman or for those women or even those young men who are involved in the trafficking process. We hope through our education we could avert many of those men from becoming the buyers,” said Gay. 

He said the goal is to slow demand, because if the market decreases so will the supply. Gay and his partners hope to bring this program to the Valley in the next few years.