By Sonia Billadeau
One of the biggest nights in sports is also one of the biggest nights for arrests and rescues. Almost every year at the Super Bowl, police and FBI around the country arrest sex-traffickers and recover children from being sold into prostitution.
This year, the search for prostitutes and customers began three weeks prior to the game. The pursuit used police decoys offering themselves as profitable targets typically on sites like Backpage.com. Also known as the National John Suppression Initiative, the setups were positioned in 14 states and included 23 assorted law-enforcement units.
Through January 17 to February 7, about 552 people were arrested for the attempt to buy sex, and about $187,000 in fines was filed against them, according to reason.com.
In result of the organization, 10 teenagers were located. Seven teens were found in San Francisco, where 50th Super Bowl was held. No gender identification has been made public.
According to Soroptimst.org, seventy-nine percent of the victims of sex trafficking are women. With the victims found, eight out of the ten victims could have been teenage girls.
Ways traffickers or “pimps” market their victims or inclined workers are by mouth or online. With online sources, revealing pictures of the young women are posted with descriptions such as "willing and ready to provide you with a great experience", according to NBC News.
Because of the proximity to the Super Bowl, the San Francisco set-up had the leading number in law enforcement. More than a half-dozen police units, the FBI and 5,000 volunteers contributed to their search.
“The six-county operation yielded 85 arrests for soliciting prostitution, 12 ‘pimps’ apprehended, and 129 adult sex workers ‘contacted,’” stated at reason.com.
How one can be lead into human trafficking, or recently defined as modern slavery, is by the certain situations they are in. The many attributes of falling into trafficking, according to divinecaroline.com, may include:
Trafficking is not the victims’ fault. Some may ask: how can one end up in something so crooked? According to the Divine Caroline website, “[t]raffickers make false promises of a better life. They paint unrealistic pictures of what life could be like with lots of money. They quickly befriend a person showering them with gifts and displays of affection, particularly recruiters who will later force a girl into prostitution”.
Most women adore tangible gifts and words of affection. The right thing said can lead a woman onto the wrong path. And that is the same for men and children. Human trafficking sounds vile, but it is easy to fall into the trap.
Global events like the Super Bowl may seem innocent and fun, but for years these events have become distracters for the billion-dollar trafficking industry.
Ladies, if you or know someone in this situation, please protect yourself and try to give a helpful hand. If someone is offering you a job opportunity, make sure you do a background check and not to get too personal. Make sure you show love for your family and/or friends and that they feel secure and appreciated. If they feel this from you, it may prevent potential victims to not go anywhere else for that attention. Always be careful of who you trust.
To get help or learn more information, you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1.800.373.7888 or text “HELP” or “INFO” at 233733.
(Image via The a21 Campaign/theodysseyonline.com)