Crime & Justice

Citing new studies, CSUN researchers hope to lower valley's number of working prostitutes

A police patrol car drives down an empty street. Dr. Henrik Minassian, associate professor of Urban Studies and Planning at CSUN, told KPCC he hopes two studies on human trafficking in the San Fernando Valley will help police reduce the number of working prostitutes in the area.
A police patrol car drives down an empty street. Dr. Henrik Minassian, associate professor of Urban Studies and Planning at CSUN, told KPCC he hopes two studies on human trafficking in the San Fernando Valley will help police reduce the number of working prostitutes in the area.
Andrew Bardwell /Flickr Creative Commons

Two studies out of Cal State Northridge aim to cut back on prostitution and human trafficking in the San Fernando Valley. Both studies focus on areas along Sepulveda and Lankershim Boulevards.

Researchers released their findings at a press conference on Thursday.

https://twitter.com/JournoWes/status/824677705673158657

The mixture of cheap motels, dark alleys and heavy traffic made both thoroughfares ideal hubs for human trafficking, according to the studies.

Dr. Henrik Minassians, associate professor of Urban Studies and Planning at CSUN, conducted one of the studies. He and his students watched prostitutes in the valley and followed them from place to place, Minassians told KPCC. 

"They don't have the same girl working the same site forever," he said. "They work the same site for a few months and then they take them to a different site. So they literally rotate around the city -- or the county, I should say."

Minassians said solutions as simple as proper street lighting and tree trimming would make a huge difference in lowering the number of working prostitutes in the area. He also recommended the county take care of abandoned buildings and motels along the two corridors.