Local Police Helping Women Involved in Online Prostitution

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JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- We can buy and advertise just about anything online and for some girls that includes selling themselves through the internet. That's why Janesville officers are offering help instead of handcuffs.

"Nobody wants to get into this, this isn't a career they decided when they were young they wanted to do. A lot of the girls that I've talked to have other girls that they work with."

Officer Jim Holford says he's seen girls as young as 16 years old soliciting sex online through several different websites.

"People into their 50's, I mean this isn't an age specific issue. It's not something you're going to see just by driving around, it's kind of an invisible problem," said Officer Holford.

Holford has spent the last few months contacting women who advertise themselves on the internet in hopes of getting them out of that lifestyle. He says a lot of women end up online because of abusive relationships or drugs.

"Sometimes it's their addiction that's making them do it, it's not necessarily a person," said Holford.

That's why he's reaching out to local agencies to offer services like drug abuse treatment and domestic violence counseling.

"We will certainly do whatever we can to put them into with the resources they need so that they don't have to do that anymore. People being forced into anything is certainly a quality of life issue and we want to change that."

Holford says the goal isn't to arrest these women and send them to jail, he says officers just want them to get the help they need.

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