Looking Beyond: The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking

I am a victim of the sex-trafficking industry. I was trafficked for more than a decade in Minneapolis, Hawaii and Las Vegas. Based on my experience I can tell you that the Super Bowl is just another weekend for the hundreds of thousands of sex-trafficking victims in the United States.” (Sex-Trafficking Survivor: The Truth About Super Bowl and Sex)

–Annie Lobert

The Super Bowl is this Sunday.  And you may know this or you may not, but men, women, boys, and girls will be trafficked for sexual exploitation in the areas surrounding this event.

The reason? It’s estimated that over 1 million people will be attending the Super Bowl and the events surrounding it. When there is such an enormous influx of people in a certain area, that means more buyers. It means more concealment. And those two things mean more profit.

It’s heartbreaking, but at events such as the Super Bowl, there is a tremendous increase in prostitution and sex trafficking. The Super Bowl has even been called the biggest event for sex trafficking each year. Others have contested the claim, but the fact remains: different types of events —trade shows, holiday weekends, sporting events— all generate an increase in trafficking (Super Bowl the biggest time for sex trafficking?).

So why bring all this up?

The first reason is to raise awareness. The second reason, though, is to look beyond the Super Bowl. Don’t get me wrong, I advocate raising awareness around sex trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl. In fact, every victim, survivor, and overcomer of sex trafficking deserves that. But while the Super Bowl comes and goes, sex trafficking continues.

Listen to how Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, one of the co-chairs of the Super Bowl Anti-Trafficking Committee, puts it:

This problem is in our community 365 days a year, every hour, every minute of every day, and so when the Super Bowl leaves, it is still going to be a problem.” (Super Bowl the biggest time for sex trafficking?)

So why should this matter to you?

It should matter to you because, wherever you are, the problem is not just in Minneapolis. It's in your community 365 days a year, every hour, every minute of every day. It's in our own community in Bloomington Normal.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around the reality that it happens here.  Whatever “here” means to you—your country, your city, your town, your community—you often either simply don’t think or don’t like to think that it’s near you. And the nearer it gets, the harder it is to believe. It’s easier to think it’s a far off problem, a problem in another country, another state, or another city, or even a problem that just takes place during the Super Bowl. But once you find out that it’s a problem “here,” you have to do something about it.

And here’s what you can do: be willing to endure with the victims of sex trafficking by raising awareness for them as often as you can.

As simple as it sounds it's as easy as LIKING and SHARING this post and as many other posts by Catalyst and other similar organizations of often as you can. Often times we don't realize how much we can add to the fight against sex-trafficking from our very own homes. It just takes one click to make a difference and add to the tide of increased awareness. And we can make a difference right where we are, one moment, one life at a time.