Project Description

The Network: Disrupting the Exploitation of Vulnerable Women

The Network’s mission is to defeat human trafficking networks. The approach is to increase risk and decrease profitability of traffickers. Human trafficking only exists because it is highly profitable. 

 The illicit massage industry is the largest and most sex-trafficked network in the United States. There are currently more than 10,000 illicit massage businesses (IMBs) across all 50 states with gross revenues of $3.8+ billion a year. Most of the victims are vulnerable women controlled, threatened, and manipulated by traffickers and compelled to provide sexual services to willing buyers. 

Landlord education leads to illicit massage closures. We believe the existence of storefronts is a key driver to the profitability of the illicit massage industry. The Network’s Landlord Education Program (LEP) enables state and local governments to motivate landlords to terminate or not renew leases for IMB tenants and can significantly reduce the number of IMBs in a given area when political and environmental conditions are ripe.

LEP is one of the most efficient, cost-effective tools for shutting down illicit massage businesses (IMBs) and combatting sex-trafficking within our communities. The aim of an LEP is threefold:

To inform landlords about illegal activity taking place on their property.

To educate landlords on their rights & responsibilities.

To motivate landlords to terminate leases of IMB tenants.

The evidence has shown that LEPs, when incorporated into a broader strategy focused on nuisance abatement enforcement, result in a drastic and enduring drop in the total number of IMBs within a given jurisdiction. In San Jose, CA, in 22 months 198 IMBs were closed by the inclusion of an LEP into the counter-IMB strategy.

The LEP is one of The Network’s key disruption strategies designed to enable their partners to attack the system that enables illicit massage businesses to exploit vulnerable women. The Network’s data and analytics team provides accurate, current illicit storefront location data, online sex buyer reviews, online erotic advertisements, and landlord identification to enable partners to execute this disruption strategy.

Status of Landowner Education Programs (LEP):

Dallas, TX 

Missouri (statewide)
Austin, TX
Williamson County, TX

Potential/In the Queue:
Phoenix, AZ
State of Delaware
State of Kentucky
State of Alaska
Williamson County, TX (with local PD)
Denver, CO
State of Wisconsin

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