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Campaign to curb holiday weekend sex trafficking launches in Indy

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Messages to discourage sex trafficking in Indianapolis during the Indianapolis 500 will appear on billboards and buses through the end of the month. - COURTESY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
  • courtesy of the Attorney General's office
  • Messages to discourage sex trafficking in Indianapolis during the Indianapolis 500 will appear on billboards and buses through the end of the month.

With less than two weeks until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, the state is taking steps to curb sex trafficking with an effort called Not Buying It.

“Indiana’s Not Buying It shares the message that commercial sex is not harmless; it is serious, dangerous and leads to the trafficking of minors,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement. “I want all men to step up and realize this behavior is not OK, and we won’t tolerate it in the Hoosier State.”

The effort – launched Thursday morning – will run through the end of the month and shares messages such as “She looked 18; She’s Not” and “Everyone Says It’s a Victimless Crime; It’s Not.” The messages will appear on billboards, IndyGo buses, flyers and fact sheets.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the average age of someone first recruited into the sex industry is just 12 to 14 years old.

Not Buying It originally launched in 2015 ahead of the NCAA Final Four championship, which was held in Indianapolis. Zoeller’s office tracked Backpage.com ads and found that “escort services” spiked by more than 100 ads per day. During the tournament more than 18 arrests were made for commercial sex-related offenses.

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