Sex trafficking is a serious problem that affects communities all over the world, including during large events such as the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is one of the largest annual sporting events in the United States, drawing in millions of visitors each year. Unfortunately, this large influx of people also attracts an increase in the illegal trade of human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by means of threat, use of force, or other forms of coercion, for the purpose of exploitation. This can include prostitution, forced labor, or other forms of sexual exploitation. The demand for commercial sex during events like the Super Bowl can lead to an increase in sex trafficking, as pimps and traffickers look to profit from the large crowds and high demand for sexual services.
The Super Bowl has become a notorious hot spot for sex trafficking, as the event attracts a large number of people who are looking for commercial sex. This creates a market for traffickers to exploit vulnerable individuals, including minors, for their own profit. The FBI has reported that the number of arrests for sex trafficking during the Super Bowl has increased in recent years, as law enforcement agencies have ramped up their efforts to tackle the issue.
There are efforts being made to address the problem of sex trafficking before, during, and after the Super Bowl. Four national anti-trafficking organizations have operationalized a comprehensive human trafficking response team to respond to the influx of trafficking associated with Sunday's Super Bowl LVII.
The coordinated effort provides victim outreach, emergency housing, and assistance in placement outside the state into restorative care homes where the survivors can receive safe, therapeutic services in a residential facility. These efforts are led by anti-trafficking non-profit organizations, Avodah Collective, Frontline Response, Rescue America, and Safe House Project, and done in partnership with local law enforcement and organizations, like Chicanos Por La Causa. You can read more about the efforts here.
Super Bowl Update from Safe House Project and Anti-Trafficking Non-Profit Teams Currently in Arizona.
As you can imagine everyone is exhausted yet overwhelmed with joy. Hundreds of people were impacted through outreach in hotels, motels, bus terminals, and the tent city. The team helped meet the needs of those on the street with necessities, like dental supplies, feminine hygiene products, etc.
For the women who made the courageous choice to escape, they were welcomed into an emergency safe house filled with a staff who was ready to serve them. Our residential care teams wrapped around these young women with welcome bags filled with new clothes, toiletries, journals, and more, they made home-cooked meals and filled the home with the smell of fresh baked goods daily. They sat for hours with each resident talking, playing games, journaling, coloring, and just resting. One of the best moments was an epic dance party.
As each survivor was ready to take that next step into a safe house program, the support teams helped her pack up all her belongings into two big suitcases and prepare her for the next stage of her journey. Now, these incredible survivors are on their way to long-term safe house programs throughout the country where they can spend up to 2 years working through the trauma they have endured, regaining their independence through education, life skills training, and career readiness, and of course, learning to dream of a life free of victimization.
Each touchpoint was an opportunity to remind these incredible individuals that they have value, dignity, and worth. Every conversation was filled with unconditional love and support. Thank you to everyone who gave generously to empower paths to freedom. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this work alongside our incredible partners.
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