Strip club tax proposed to combat sexual violence

March 19, 2012

Associated Press

Illinois legislators are looking at an unexpected source of money to reverse cuts in sexual assault services — strip clubs.

The idea is to impose a $5 tax on every customer and create a fund to prevent sexual violence and counsel victims.

Supporters say strip clubs contribute to crime and violence, so it makes sense.

The proposal awaits a floor vote. But the legislation raises questions, among them: Do strip clubs contribute to crime, particularly violence against women?

Sponsor Sen. Toi Hutchinson is careful not to go too far in linking the clubs and violence.

Some studies suggest there's a correlation between strip clubs, alcohol and violence against women. But not every study reaches similar conclusions, and some people are against blaming strip clubs for general increases in crime.