[ View the story "Super Bowl renews debate on sex trafficking" on Storify] Super Bowl renews debate on sex trafficking As Super Bowl XLVIII approaches, New Jersey amps up protections against increased rates of prostitution
AJAMStream· Thu, Jan 30 2014 12:36:23
Advocates for sex trafficking prevention are bringing attention to the
in numbers prostitution during the Super Bowl. Organizations like the
NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking
, federal officials and law enforcement have been preparing in the weeks leading up to this Sunday's
in New Jersey.
These groups are ramping up efforts to garner attention for the cause:
Superbowl XLVIII: Anti Trafficking Message from NJ Attorney General's Officefarecord
The push to prevent sex trafficking at the Super Bowl comes on the heels of statistics showing a rise in prostitution during large sporting events. According to a 2012
article, 10,000 prostitutes were trafficked into Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl. The next year, 133 arrests for underage prostitution were made during the 2011 Dallas Super Bowl.
Danielle Douglas, an advocate and self-identified sex trafficking survivor,
"The Super Bowl is a huge, huge arena for sex trafficking." She contends that some spectators are only coming to "have sex with women, and/or men or children."
So happy that there is so much awareness going on for #humantrafficking and the #SuperBowl This is a #365dayayear issue though #keepitgoingDanielle Rae
Douglas is one of the subjects the new film, "
," a documentary that explores personal stories associated with sex trafficking in the United States.
TRICKED OFFICIAL TRAILER3generationsorg
Some argue that the numbers are inflated, however, calling Super Bowl prostitution a hoax.
The Village Voice
points to elected officials who create "manufactured outrage." Before the Dallas Super Bowl, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and other advocates claimed that 100,000 prostitutes would be trafficked into the area. However, law enforcement made just 105 arrests, most of them local. Of those, only two involved human trafficking.
asserts that trafficking is a year-round issue, but acknowledges that there is no hard evidence that shows increased rates of prostitution during the Super Bowl:
A narrative has emerged over the last several years that women and girls are being forced into commercial sex at the Super Bowl in unprecedented numbers. The idea has recently received an increase in media attention again this year. However, there is not a lot of evidence linking the Super Bowl to such a significant rise in sex trafficking.polarisproject.org
The map below rates New Jersey as being one of the "Most Outstanding" states that combats human trafficking through its laws:
The Twitter community has been debating the issue. Some feel that advocacy efforts are misguided and may hurt anti-trafficking efforts:
Clearly, #NewJersey hasn't gotten the memo that there's no established link betw/ #sextrafficking & sports events http://t.co/ZXOJHZrrYUiamcuriousblue
@WajahatAli @AJAMStream Prostitutes are often trafficked folks stuck in a cycle. They are heavily penalized. Their Johns however-not so muchMarvin Mathew
Super Bowl sex trafficking hysteria is the latest female victimhood myth. Great debunking by @Maggie_McNeill http://t.co/1CDF5f4pGLCaroline Kitchens
The woman below made reference a recent
of more than 200 people for sex trafficking and related crimes in New York leading up to the Super Bowl:
@Salon @CineKink @TracyClarkFlory Unfortunately, NYC has already arrested 200 sex workers ahead of Sunday's big game. :/ So stupid.Chrystyna Lapychak
Other assert that efforts to increase awareness are warranted:
In #SuperBowl aftermath - 5 rescued victims of #sextrafficking & half dozen arrests. Thank u 2 anti-trafficking community 4 great workLaura Lederer
The #Superbowl is 1 of the largest #sextrafficking events in the world. Keep up w details via @SharedHope @Polaris_Project @ecpatusa #EndItMonica Bailey
Super Bowl weekend is here & it's time to learn what you can do to combat #sextrafficking with @NCJWNY &@wewereslaves http://t.co/1dml86NSLDyael reisman
What do you think? Is the focus of sex trafficking ahead of the Super Bowl highlighting or hindering awareness? Leave a comment below.