NCOSE’s Support of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild

In late February 2022, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced details and results from the seventh annual Operation Reclaim and Rebuild enforcement operation—which was conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force along with more than 80 participating federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces from across California—at a press conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. The campaign to prevent human trafficking took place between February 6 to February 12, 2022, and employed myriad tactics that led to favorable outcomes for protecting survivors and holding sex buyers accountable.

Dr. Stephany Powell joins LAPD and other organizations to report the results of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild
Dr. Stephany Powell, NCOSE Director of Survivor Services and Law Enforcement Training, joins LAPD and other organizations at a press conference where the results of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild were shared.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild Helps Victims and Focuses on Demand

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild is a refuge for victims of human trafficking in the state of California. The operation’s goal is to rescue and provide resources to people who are victims of trafficking and to disrupt and deter the demand of sex buyers via accountability tactics including prosecution.

The operation in February 2022 involved a plethora of service agencies and law enforcement detectives. Their work led to the rescue of 65 adults and seven children, while 182 men (sex buyers) were arrested for solicitation and 30 others were arrested on suspicion of trafficking and exploitation. 

The Los Angeles Police Department proudly defends the lives of the victims and is offering them the proper support they need. Villanueva stated at the press conference:  

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and our partners stand with each victim of this heinous crime. You are the focus of this endeavor. We are here for you. We are here to help you reclaim your freedom from the binds of sex trafficking, and to provide you the support and tools to rebuild your lives.”

The LAPD have connected over 65 of the women involved to shelters and services to help equip them with the tools they need to be successful and free from any more exploitation. But, in order to end sex trafficking for good, there need to be even more efforts targeted at the root cause of the problem: the demand of sex buyers.

Ending Demand is Crucial to Ending Sex Trafficking  

One of NCOSE’s main priorities for ending sexual exploitation permanently is addressing and finding solutions for combatting the demand of people buying other people for sex. Without the demand of sex buyers, there would be no need for exploiters to find a “supply” to sell them.

Unfortunately, sex buyers are frequently left almost completely off the hook for the enormous harm they inflict to both people and society. There is an interconnection between penalizing sex buyers and minimizing the demand for commercial sex.

Demand Forum is a Tool to Help Law Enforcement Stop Sex Trafficking

NCOSE has recognized this and its Research Institute operates an established and trusted resource known as Demand Forum. Demand Forum is a comprehensive internet resource for those who want to stop sex trafficking and prostitution—law enforcement, in particular. There are more than 2,470 cities and counties around the United States that have initiated measures to discourage males from buying sex. The Demand Forum website includes crucial data and different tactics on how to deter people from buying sex, and it also provides information about organizations with survivor-focused programs which are led by survivors, supports survivors, and assist with crucial anti-demand efforts. 

Sex buyers inflict grave physical and psychological harm on those they purchase for sex. Anti-demand tactics and laws focused on sex buyers—rather than their victims—can help make sure that the right people are held accountable. When sex buyers are penalized, consumer-level demand is constrained. This reduces the scale of the commercial sex trade and curtails sex trafficking.

There are many ways to stop sex buyers, and we won’t rest until we’ve helped build a world where demand for commercial sex buying is addressed comprehensively, survivors are well-supported, and all people are free to live and love free from sexual abuse and exploitation. 

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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