The Super Bowl and Trafficking

The Super Bowl is a time for friends to gather together in order to eat delicious junk food and scream loudly as their favored team either wins or loses.  It ought to be a good time for everyone as a sport competition unites people across the country.  Unfortunately, it is not a good time for all.

In 2011, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said, “The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly.  It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.”  The article by Huffington Post, “Super Bowl is Single Largest Human Trafficking Incident in U.S.: Attorney General” covers this phenomenon in more detail, claiming “that the sheer number of men looking to pay for sex substantially increases demand and the massive crowds allow for pimps and victims to essentially go unnoticed.” 

There is a subtler side to this story, however.  While there is no denying that women are used and abused during the Super Bowl, putting all the blame on a sporting event frees the rest of us to care only one day year.  The truth is, women are being bought and sold for sex every day of the year. 

FOXNews recently posted an article entitled, “Sex-trafficking survivor:  The truth about Super Bowl and sex” in which a woman who was trafficked for over a decade in places such as Minneapolis, Hawaii, and Las Vegas reminds readers of reality.  Although she admits that she definitely did see clients during the Super Bowl, the truth is that

“I would see between 10-30 different men a night.  It didn’t matter how tired I was or how much money I made, I had to be loyal my entire shift for the entire weekend, or face a fine of $1,500.  When I finally got home, as soon as I walked in the door, my pimp took 100% of my earnings.”

She tells readers that

“Trafficking is happening in every city across the United States, 24/7, 365 days a year.  Wherever there’s a Smartphone, computer, strip club, or massage parlor, trust that sex is being sold to those who demand it.  And if sex is being sold, sex trafficking going on at the same time.  It is literally happening everywhere, all of the time.”

I am glad that awareness of the reality of human trafficking grows around the Super Bowl.  We need more people to see, understand, and care about the plight of women and children who are treated as objects designed only for providing someone else sexual pleasure.  Let’s take the influx of news articles and blog posts about the Super Bowl and sex trafficking and think a little deeper.  Today there will be women forced to have sex with men so that their pimp comes away richer.  Tomorrow the same thing will happen, and next week, and next month. So when the Super Bowl is over, please don’t stop caring about those who are living in the horror of sex trafficking.

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