Are you planning on watching the Super Bowl this Sunday? Do you have a favorite team? I honestly haven’t been paying attention to the teams playing.
My focus on Super Bowl XLIX has been different from most. I’ve been focused on the impact it will have on sex trafficking in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
While there are some people, some abolitionists included, who say events like the Super Bowl do not provide an increase of activity in the sex trade, news reports and rescue organizations seem to tell a different story. Whether it’s the Super Bowl in Arizona or the Stock Exchange in Denver, Colorado, whenever there is an event that draws large crowds and money, the number of tricks girls are required to turn increases as well as the number of girls available.
One survivor told me,
Whenever there was a sporting event or a convention in town, our quotas would double. Our pimp saw this as an opportunity to make more money. More men meant more tricks because more tricks meant more money. It was all about the money.”
Just two days ago, there were news reports of the FBI rescuing six minors from domestic sex trafficking during the Stock Exchange in Denver. You can read that report and see the news clip here.
Last April there was a huge bust that took place in north Texas during the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament. Reports said,
An FBI task force that included Dallas police said it arrested four pimps, 18 “johns,” and three people who solicited children for sex trafficking on the Internet in a four-day crackdown during the tournament two weeks ago. Also, five children were discovered and rescued, which is a top goal of such operations.”
You can read the full report here.
Back in 2010, during my research for Rescuing Hope, I interviewed a former pimp who was in the life for over thirty years. He said,
Where there was a need, we’d meet it… every time.”
What can we do? How can we help?
- Make your community aware of the impact large events have on the sex trade in your community. Share the information you learn on your social media and on any other platform you may have.
- Contact the local hotel chains and ask if they’ve trained their staff on indicators of sex trafficking taking place in the area so they’re prepared to report any suspicious activity. You can find a list of general indicators here.
- Contact the local anti-trafficking organizations in your community and surrounding areas to learn what they’re doing to fight the issue. See how you can support their efforts. In some cases, organizations like Out of Darkness travel to large venues to do outreach events to help the local organizations. This week Out of Darkness has a team in Phoenix supporting the local organizations in the area leading up to the Super Bowl. Not sure what organizations exist. You can start your search here.
- See something, say something. Program the National Hotline in your cell phone and share the information with all of your friends. That way when you see something suspicious, you have the number at your fingertips. That number is,
or send a text to
This isn’t a large city problem. It isn’t a rural problem. It isn’t a Christian or Muslim or Jewish problem. This is a human race problem and we need everyone involved. Step into the fight. Speak out for those who are held captive [Proverbs 31:8].
Raise your voice for hope!
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