Go after buyers of sex services

If you really want to solve the problem of massage brothels, hold the sex buyers accountable.

Lisa Trigg’s July 6 article, “Four face prostitution charges after months-long investigation,” highlights an important problem facing cities across the country, including Terre Haute: modern-day brothels poorly disguised as “massage” parlors. Real people’s lives are at stake. According to Polaris, which operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, “the average illicit massage business has two to three women being forced to provide commercial sex inside.” Most victims don’t disclose the true story until they’ve received weeks — and sometimes months — of restorative services.

Unfortunately, despite an 11-month investigation, it appears the real culprits have gotten away: the men sneaking to these brothels to buy sex illegally. It’s simple economics. Sex buyers are the “demand” that drives the underground market; their behavior poisons communities, destroys families, and harms vulnerable women and girls.

We are thankful that local law enforcement wants to combat prostitution, but the right way to do it is to go after the buyers, who are the root of the problem. Members of our CEASE network (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation), which is comprised of pioneering law enforcement agencies, nonprofits, and technologists, are working across the U.S. to end sex trafficking and forced prostitution by focusing on reducing demand for commercial sex.

The tipster whose complaint apparently started the investigation was on to something when “she was upset her husband was patronizing ‘The Satisfying Massage Parlor.’” Hopefully next time, law enforcement will hold people like her husband accountable.

— Alex Trouteaud, Director of Policy and Research

Demand Abolition, Washington, D.C. 

Respecting values the American way

There is a letter in the July 7 Readers’ Forum written by Shirley Thomas that begs for a response and I choose to do so.

Shirley’s big message is that we are a democracy and have the right to say what we want, do what we want and to be free. She and others of her ilk can disrespect the flag by refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; not stand for the for the national anthem; and be disrespectful to our heritage. She says that “the refusal to recite some meaningless pledge and being punished is what is wrong with this country today”. 

What? I cannot believe even a liberal like Shirley would say that. I wonder if Shirley has ever stood in front of any of the War Memorials in our U.S. Capitol and given any thought to what these people fought for and died to protect. It is the very freedom that she holds so high, our democracy. 

When we pledge allegiance to the flag we are pledging allegiance to our country and its values; when we stand for the national anthem we are doing the same. We are respecting those who have gone before, fought, died and live today. Shirley, it didn’t just happen, our democracy and freedom was earned. Shame on you for calling something this dear “meaningless”!

And by the way, I do support what Ms. Dierdorf has written and for Shirley to take her to task for it is the exact opposite of what she is espousing in her letter. Ms. Dierdorf has that right of free speech. Remember it is one of the freedoms we fought, died for and won.

God bless the United States.

— Don Phillips, West Terre Haute

Islamic doctrine grows terrorism

Highly respected scholar of Islam, former Muslim Ibn Warraq has published a new book: “ The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas and Ideology. “ The book refutes the claim by many that “Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.” The book explains how Islamic terrorism arises out of Islamic doctrines: Jihad (Holy War by Muslims against non-Muslims), Sharia (Islamic Law, which mandates the subjugation, forced conversion, or killing of non-Muslims, gays and women), Al-Hijra (migration by Muslims to non-Muslim lands with the aim of striving for establishing Islamic rule over non-Muslims), and the Islamic doctrine of Al Walaa Wal Baraa.

Al Walaa Wal Baraa is the doctrine of Islamic Apartheid. It calls on Muslims to not befriend non-Muslims, and to not socialize with non-Muslims, and to segregate themselves in isolated enclaves which implement Sharia Law. It also calls on Muslims to hate, oppress and humiliate non-Muslims.

— Karanam Rao, Terre Haute