Principles Matter More Than Money

As hard as it must have been to decline a $50,000 donation, I am proud of CAASE for sticking to their principles. The following is taken directly from an update I received from CAASE (Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation).


The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation Decides To Return a Donation from the Craigslist Charitable Foundation

Recently, craigslist Charitable Fund made an unsolicited $50,000 grant to Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE). CAASE viewed the grant as an advocacy victory because our organization has been working to demand that craigslist use profits generated from its Chicago adult services ads to support services and advocacy efforts to end sexual exploitation in the city. CAASE planned to use the grant to support its prevention education work aimed at eradicating the demand for prostitution and for legal and advocacy services for survivors of sexual assault and prostitution.

CAASE decided to return the grant after considering the input from survivors and anti-prostitution activists locally and nationally. In the end, CAASE chooses to stand in solidarity with our allies despite the financial challenges CAASE and many others in the nonprofit community are facing.

We have long agreed with our allies that craigslist could and should be doing more in response to the use of its site for the promotion of prostitution. craigslist has known CAASE’s position since last year, when we attempted to join Cook County Sheriff Dart’s lawsuit against craigslist, on behalf of two local organizations run by and for survivors of prostitution. In addition, we have long participated in efforts by Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan to end craigslists’ facilitation of prostitution, efforts which have included our public and private statements urging craigslist to donate profits from the adult services sections in Illinois to anti-sexual exploitation advocacy organizations and victim services providers in Illinois.

Our advocacy is grounded in the reality that because craigslist has come to massively dominate online advertising in the United States, craigslist is and will continue to be a magnet for pimps and traffickers who profit from the use and abuse of women in prostitution. CAASE believes that craigslist, and organizations like it, have a key role to play in the development and utilization of successful long-term strategies for eradicating the sale of humans as things, and the treatment of girls and women as less then fully human.

Fundamentally, and for as long as CAASE exists, we will stand with survivors of prostitution and other forms of sexual harm, to promote and be accountable to their viewpoints, and to work towards the eradication of prostitution and all forms of sexual violence against girls and women. We hope that our return of the craigslist Charitable Fund grant demonstrates CAASE’s willingness to be accountable to our community, and our deepest desire to work in a collaborative and respectful way towards the goals that so many of us share.

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Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
3304 N. Lincoln, Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60657


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