February is known for many things: Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, the beginning of Mardi Gras, and even Groundhog Day. But, maybe one of the most iconic “holidays” in February has become Super Bowl Sunday. Football fans everywhere look forward to this celebration of a true American game, finger foods, and the best commercials we see all year.
There are many misconceptions around the increase of human trafficking with this particular event in our nation. Regardless of whether or not human trafficking actually increases around the Super Bowl, this event is a rare opportunity for abolitionists everywhere to take a stand against sexual exploitation.
This year, the Super Bowl will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The state as a whole received a D on their Shared Hope Protected Innocence Report Card in 2015. However, California has also begun implementing significant laws to combat trafficking and will continue to do so this year.
In San Diego County alone, there are up to 11,700 women and girls trafficked each year, with fewer than 25 beds available for survivors. WAR, Int’l is pleased to partner with a safehouse in San Diego which is making a difference through long-term housing and a holistic restoration program for women coming out of a trafficking situation. This safehouse will be expanding its capacity over the next few years to be able to provide hope and healing to even more survivors.
As Super Bowl 50 nears, we encourage you to speak out against trafficking in your own community. The S.O.A.P. Project, a partner of WAR, Int’l, will be at the Super Bowl, monitoring an online website where sex is sold and reaching out to hotels with bars of soap labeled with the human trafficking hotline. Please pray for the team. This kind of outreach is not easy, and we would love to see our country rally around them in prayer during this time.
As we look to the Super Bowl in anticipation, hoping our favorite team shows up to play well, we hope you’ll take the time to pray for those who may be in trafficking situations. There’s no doubt that traffickers loom at large events – there are plenty of statistics, news stories and personal testimonies to prove that. Whether the number of trafficking victims increases drastically or minimally during the Super Bowl is almost completely irrelevant. The point is that many different events, especially large events like the Super Bowl, attract predatory men and women seeking financial gain from the coercion and enslavement of another human being.
While the Super Bowl is a fun event, it also serves as a reminder of the grim reality of human trafficking. With knowledge comes responsibility and a duty to educate both ourselves and others. We hope you’ll use this event and this month to shine a light on trafficking.
If you would like information on how to help survivors and fight trafficking through WAR, Int’l, click here.