End Demand Illinois (EDI) is a multi-year, statewide campaign to transform our community's response to prostitution.

EDI is working to end the routine arrest and re-arrest of women and girls in prostitution and instead proposes a statewide system of supportive services for survivors of the sex trade. In addition, EDI advocates for new tools and resources to allow law enforcement to begin arresting, charging, and prosecuting pimps, traffickers, and customers who create the demand for the sex trade. Illinois is receiving national attention for these innovative approaches.

Founded in 2009, the End Demand Illinois campaign is working toward the following goals:

  • Goal 1: Traffickers, pimps, and the people who buy commercial sex are held accountable for their crimes and are deterred from future trafficking and prostitution offenses.  
  • Goal 2: Prostituted and trafficked people receive comprehensive, specialized supportive services to address their complex needs and provide meaningful alternatives to prostitution.
  • Goal 3: Illinois residents, elected officials, policy makers, and opinion leaders are educated about the realities of prostitution and trafficking and are moved to take action against demand and end sexual exploitation

EDI and our partners have achieved several successes since the campaign began in 2009:

Passing laws to hold sex traffickers accountable, create resources for survivors

Our policy committee has led the passage of 6 laws that offer protections to survivors of the sex trade. Please note that all descriptions of these laws are historical documents and may not reflect subsequent changes made to Illinois law.

See the 6 laws we passed in 6 years >>

The Ugly Truth media campaign

End Demand Illinois launched a media campaign to raise awareness about the realities of the sex trade. The Ugly Truth campaign was created by The Voices and Faces Project, an EDI campaign partner, to challenge public attitudes about sexual exploitation, prostitution, and sex trafficking. The Voices and Faces Project continues to work with cities around the nation to bring awareness to their communities. To find out more about bringing the campaign to your community, email Katie@voicesandfaces.org.

Learn more about the campaign >>

Developing research and publications

In an effort to better understand the demand side of prostitution, End Demand Illinois created a number of innovative research publications to learn more about what drives the sex trade industry, examining the attitudes and beliefs of purchasers, and the methods used by pimps and traffickers.

See our full list of research reports >>

Survivor Engagement

All of our work is informed by survivors and End Demand Illinois has cultivated strong relationships with survivor leaders who have been at the heart of our policy reform and raising awareness about the need to address demand and to support survivors of prostitution. Survivor leaders have testified in Springfield on behalf of our bills, spoken to the media about their experiences and struggles, and worked with us to guide our work as a whole. 

Learn more >>

Transforming the response to sexual exploitation

Our End Demand Illinois campaign has sharply reduced the criminal system impact on prostituted people while successfully increasing accountability for exploiters.

See full infogaphic >>

Our campaign partners for the first six years: Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers ( a program of Cabrini Green Legal Aid), Cook County Sheriff's Women's Justice Programs, DePaul University College of Law's Schiller DuCanto and Fleck Family Law Center, Heartland Alliance, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and The Voices and Faces Project.

EDI has become increasingly concerned that the laws are not widely known or understood among law enforcement, court personnel, and the state agencies that need to be using the new legal tools. These groups are critical not only to the legislation’s success, but also to the achievement of EDI’s long term vision of cultural and institutional transformation. 

The future goals of End Demand Illinois are:

  • Police and prosecutors begin using the existing state legislative tools and newly reformed Chicago municipal tools to hold pimps, johns, and traffickers accountable and collect fines to pay for survivor services
  • State and local government funders support new specialized services to a diverse population of survivors of prostitution
  • Prostituted people have greater access to specialized services and fewer interactions with the criminal justice system.

EDI proposes the following broad category of activities: (1) professional training, information, and resource sharing, (2) community organizing and engagement in implementation; (3) reforming City of Chicago municipal prostitution codes; (4) support and technical assistance to Illinois Department of Human Services as they move forward with administration of the grant funds

Get involved

Interested in making an impact in your community? Contact Melissa for details at mbanerjee@caase.org.

Research & Reports on Prostitution

The following research conducted by our campaign partners and other experts can help deepen our understanding about sex trafficking and prostitution.

Learn more >>

Myth vs. Facts

Who are the men who buy sex? Why does prostitution exist? Are there overlaps between prostitution and sex trafficking? What do we know about women in prostitution? Learn more & download our factsheets.

Myths about men who buy sex & myths about women in prostitution.


Watch a collection of videos that explore common misconceptions about prostitution and sexual exploitation with interviews of survivors and advocates.

Learn more >>

Questions or concerns? Contact our team.

Megan Rosenfeld, Policy Director

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation

(773) 244-2230 ext. 205

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Hayley Forrestal, Communications Manager
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
(773) 244-2230 ext. 203

Our policy work is supported by individual donations to CAASE as well as through grants provided by:

  • Alphawood Foundation Chicago
  • Chicago Foundation for Women
  • Full Circle Family Foundation
  • NoVo Foundation