Address the Root Causes of Commercial Sexual Exploitation Rather Than Punishing Vulnerable Populations

Policy Background

Without the demand for purchased sex there would be no prostitution – and, in turn, no sex trafficking. To take steps to reduce prostitution and trafficking, we must deter the purchase of sexual services. Although some measures are currently in place to criminalize prostitution, there are glaring disparities in policing and criminal justice responses to buyers and sellers. Specifying that the offense of purchasing sex is a form of exploitation can be effective in reducing its demand.

Proposed Solution

(1) Redefine prostitution for “buyers” as an offense of “Commercial Sexual Exploitation.” (2) Raise fees levied against “buyers” and use those funds to provide pre- and post-arrest services for victims of commercial sexual exploitation – including housing, case management, wrap-around supports, vocational training, and substance use treatment. (3) Remove the felony enhancement for multiple offenses of prostitution, which will provide commercially exploited individuals with more opportunities for probation supervision, treatment programs, and other services that can help them build healthy life skills.

Relevant Bill

Coming soon!

Other Bills Related to Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking

  • Bill Number: HB 15 [Senfronia Thompson, Krause, Collier, White, Yvonne Davis]
    Bill Caption: Relating to the prosecution of, penalties for, and other consequences of prostitution, trafficking of persons, and related criminal offenses, the admissibility of evidence in the prosecutions of those offenses, and orders of nondisclosure for persons who committed certain of those offenses; regulating occupations and property to prevent and respond to those criminal offenses, including requiring a student occupational permit for those purposes; authorizing fees; increasing criminal penalties; creating criminal offenses.
  • Bill Number: HB 111 [Mary González, Meyer]
    Bill Caption: Relating to training for employees of school districts and open-enrollment charter schools on the prevention of sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other maltreatment of certain children.
    House Hearing Notice: Public Education, February 19, 2019

  • Bill Number: HB 292 [Senfronia Thompson]
    Bill Caption: Relating to inclusion of instruction on the trafficking of persons in the basic training curriculum for peace officers.

  • Bill Number: HB 403 [Senfronia Thompson]
    Bill Caption: Relating to training requirements for a member of the board of trustees and the superintendent of an independent school district regarding sexual abuse, human trafficking, and other maltreatment of children.
    House Hearing Notice: Public Education, February 26, 2019
    TCJC House Action: Card in support

  • Bill Number: HB 1113 [Sarah Davis]
    Bill Caption: Relating to state contract limitations and programs for sex trafficking prevention and victim treatment.

  • Bill Number: HB 1216 [Senfronia Thompson]
    Bill Caption: Relating to orders of nondisclosure for certain victims of trafficking of persons or compelling prostitution.

  • Bill Number: HB 1232 [Guillen]
    Bill Caption: Relating to the establishment and duties of the human trafficking prevention coordinating council.

  • Bill Number: HB 1509 [Calanni]
    Bill Caption: Relating to consent instruction and instruction on the prevention of sexual abuse and sex trafficking for certain public school students.

  • Bill Number: HB 1559 [Meza]
    Bill Caption: Relating to employment leave for certain family or medical obligations; imposing an assessment.

  • Bill Number: HB 1616 [Ortega]
    Bill Caption: Relating to certain notice and license display requirements applicable to massage therapy.
  • Bill Number: HB 2059 [Blanco]
    Bill Caption: Relating to required human trafficking prevention training for health care practitioners and certain employees of health care facilities.
  • Bill Number: HB 2170 [Calanni]
    Bill Caption: Relating to human trafficking awareness training for members of the legislature.
  • Bill Number: SB 72 [Nelson]
    Bill Caption: Relating to the establishment and duties of the human trafficking prevention coordinating council.
    Senate Hearing Notice: State Affairs, March 4
    TCJC Senate Action: Testimony in support
    Senate Hearing Video: State Affairs, March 4

  • Bill Number: SB 291 [Lucio]
    Bill Caption: Relating to the establishment of a human trafficking unit within the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas.

  • Bill Number: SB 458 [Huffman]
    Bill Caption: Relating to training requirements for a member of the board of trustees and the superintendent of an independent school district regarding sexual abuse, human trafficking, and other maltreatment of children.

  • Bill Number: SB 696 [Huffman, Paxton]
    Bill Caption: Relating to peace officer instruction on the trafficking of persons and compelling prostitution.

  • Bill Number: SB 802 [Rodríguez]
    Bill Caption: Relating to certain notice and license display requirements applicable to massage therapy.
  • Bill Number: SB 1219 [Alvarado]
    Bill Caption: Relating to human trafficking signs at transportation hubs.
  • Resolution Number: HCR 35 [Miller]
    Resolution Caption: Recognizing human trafficking as a public health issue.

Other Materials