Activist Faith

Sex trafficking in Pittsburgh? Unfortunately, the ugly reality is that this crime takes place in many American cities. The good news is that you can do something to stop it, even if you don’t live in Pittsburgh.

Specifically, The Project to End Human Trafficking is currently running a petition to the Pittsburgh City Council to vote to regulate sex trafficking out of the massage parlor industry. To help, I’m encouraging everyone I can to join their petition and rally support to help reduce trafficking in Pittsburgh.

The overview and petition letter text are below. Click here to sign and share. Do it now. Stop slavery in America!



On May 2nd, the Pittsburgh City Council will vote on whether to regulate sex trafficking out of the massage industry–or not. Women trafficked in massage parlors may be forced to see 6 to 10 clients a day, working 10am to 2am, seven days a week. It is a crime which degrades our common humanity.

In Pittsburgh, there are 15+ massage parlors advertised and reviewed on forums catering to men who buy sex. These are only a tiny number of the 5000+ brothels which appear to sell sex in the United States, and are at a high risk of involving sex trafficking. However, there is no acceptable number of slaves in any American city, so even these few must leave.

The massage parlor regulation ordinance, Bill No. 2011 – 1635, builds upon the strong work of Pennsylvania Massage Therapists’ state licensure law and teases apart legitimate from illegitimate massage establishments. The ordinance includes requirements that windows be unbarred, massage-room doors unlocked, and establishments properly advertised. If it passes in tact, Pittsburgh will be the first city in the United States to comprehensively approach ending sex trafficking in massage parlors. If it does not, women will continue to be enslaved. Please help us encourage the Pittsburgh city council to vote YES on this bill.

If you are interested in ending sex trafficking in your neighborhood using a similar bill, please contact Jessica Dickinson Goodman (jdickins [at] andrew [dot] cmu [dot] edu) or Jaime Turek (jevanoski [at] endhumantrafficking [dot] org).

If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking or if you would like to become involved in Pittsburgh, please visit The Project to End Human Trafficking at


Please Support Bill No. 2011 – 1635 to End Sex Trafficking in Pittsburgh

Dear Councilmember,

Sex trafficking degrades our common humanity and I urge you to vote YES on Bill No. 2011 – 1635 and to help end sex trafficking in Pittsburgh. Within the Pittsburgh city limits there appear to be at least 15 brothels posing as massage parlors, all of which are at a higher risk for sex trafficking. These establishments advertise and are reviewed in online forums publicly.

According to the Polaris Project women trafficked in massage parlors may be forced to see 6 to 10 clients a day, working 10am to 2am, seven days a week. A victim of modern-day slavery may have come to our city in search of a better life, but she found is a locked door, a bed, and a quota.

Thank you for your time and energetic pursuit of the good. Together, we can make Pittsburgh a safer and better home for everyone. With your support, Pittsburgh can become the gold standard for ending sex trafficking in a major city’s massage parlors.


[Your name]

Sign it here.


DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus