SOAP orders have been used for responding to arrested sex buyers in at least 140 U.S. cities and counties. This tactic involves prohibiting or restricting arrested sex buyers from visiting areas with known prostitution activity, and/or the vicinity of their arrest. The general approach—called geographic “exclusion zones” or “restraining orders” when applied to other kinds of offenders—are often identified as “Stay Out of Areas with Prostitution” or “SOAP” orders when applied to sex buyers (as well as to prostituted women).
To learn more about these orders and details about how they have been implemented, please see our Tactic Summary (March, 2023), as well as the links to resources provided below. You may also locate where in the United States that this tactic has been used by visiting Demand Forum’s mapping or listing functions, and selecting it from the list of tactics. By clicking on each of the cities and counties listed or mapped, you may access brief summaries of the implementation of each tactic that community, and links to source documentation.
City Ordinances Establishing and Describing SOAP Orders
Proposed State Legislation Allowing Cities to Establish SOAP Orders
Reports on SOAP Orders
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. (2006). Prostitution Exclusion Zone. Project summary submitted for the 2006 Goldstein Award, Office of Community Oriented Policing, U.S. Department of Justice.
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. (1993). Foothill Corridor Project. Submission for Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.
- San Bernardino Police Department. (1999). Prostitution Restraining Order Program.
- San Diego Police Department. (1994). Glitter Track: The Use of a Temporary Restraining Order to Solve the Prostitution Problem.
- Moser, S. L. (2000). Anti-prostitution zones: justifications for abolition. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 91, 1101.
News Articles on SOAP orders and Exclusion Zones
- Elk Grove, CA: egcitizen.com/news/three-suspects-arrested-in-local-prostitution-sting/ (2018)
- Milwaukee, WI: jsonline.com/story/sex-trafficking-milwaukee-may-raise-fines-soliciting-prostitutes/ (2019)
- Orlando, FL: orlandosentinel.com/news (2004)
- Tampa Bay, FL: tampabay.com/Tampa-police-arrest-25-in-prostitution-crackdown-near-nebraska-avenue (2012)