It is widely understood that large scale sporting events increase the number of victims of sex trafficking in their areas. With the Super Bowl coming to New York this weekend, it is important to remember that many arriving in the city are not there of their own volition. While tracking the numbers of trafficked individuals is notoriously difficult, events such as the Super Bowl can serve as a catalyst. The National Center on Missing and Reported Children tells us that 1 in every 7 missing children reported to them is likely a victim of sex trafficking. Many will be in New York this weekend.
In this time of celebrating athletics, there are hidden victims who live the nightmare of sex trafficking
So far, CNN reports that there have been nearly 200 arrests for sex trafficking and related crimes in operations leading up to the Super Bowl. There will be more.
Hotel and transportation workers have been given special training to spot victims of sex trafficking, reports the New York Daily News. One group has distributed tiny bars of soap with the number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
In this time of celebrating athletics, there are hidden victims, like Natalie and Lisa, who live the nightmare of sex trafficking while their families pace and search. Watch the trailer for Tim Matsui and MediaStorm’s “The Long Night,” which gives gives voice and meaning to the crisis of minors who are forced and coerced into the American sex trade. After, take a moment to remember those impacted by this terrible practice.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sex trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733) for help.
An earlier version of this post reported that “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children claims that 10,000 women and girls were trafficked to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl.” This was a reproduction of an erroneous statement made by Rep. Christopher Smith published report by the NY Daily News. NCMEC has refuted these numbers.