Today's sporting events are not what they used to be. Once the only real worries were parking, good seats and getting the hot dogs fresh. A day at the game was a cherished memory between father and son, but the times are changing.
Nowadays things like children being sold into sex slavery and human trafficking surround our major once loved past-times.
Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, said it well in his statement; "The Super Bowl is one of the largest human trafficking events in the United States." It just does not get any clearer than that. That was in 2011.
The Florida Commission against Human Trafficking organization says that “tens of thousands of women and minors are trafficked in the Miami area during the Super Bowl games."
The thing is many Americans were unaware of the real severity of the issue until the 2014 Superbowl. The issue became a media sensation, and the fact is that it is not limited to the sporting events we all know and love.
At any given time in the United States there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged victims forced into the sex industry and being made to perform as sex workers. Some of these are children hardly 9 years old, and there are some rings that sell children even younger than that.
While social media and Hollywood have glorified and even demonized sex making the abnormal very normal, even expected, tens of thousands of children are being forced to reenact the real life horrors of living as sex slaves. All the while "we the people" are caught up in the excitement of events like the Superbowl unaware of the horrors taking place in our very presence.
Game goers are buying these children and returning to their everyday lives, homes and families while these children remain stuck in their nightmare until they are killed or die from illnesses as a result of the life.
It is time to make a change, and it comes down to everyday people like you and myself to do that. This is taking place in our schools, homes, churches and neighborhoods. It has touched every level of society on every economic level, and many times we are by choice blind to the tale tell signs that something is just not right. Do you know how many children are missing in the U.S. right now? Many of those children are in fact alive and living in a nightmare unimaginable to most people.
This year alone the Federal Bureau of Investigation officials reported that, "Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to last Sunday's Super Bowl."
The FBI also stated that the people arrested said that they came to the area because of the game that brought more than 40,000 potential child buyers to the area. It was a gold mine for the sex industry.
The children rescued were in age from 13 to 17 , and some of those were children who have been reported as missing.
FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff verified that, "Arrests were made and victims recovered were in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut."
Around 3,000 civilians and law enforcement agents worked together being backed up by the FBI to make this sting a success. The fact remains that there were many that were not rescued in the bust proceeding the February 2 championship game. With these children servicing somewhere around 50 Johns daily during the game the thought of them being left behind is unbearable.
Michael Harpster, FBI, says, "While the game has passed, the risk has not; it's easy to focus on this issue in light of a high-profile event, but the sad reality is, this is a problem we see every day in communities across the country."
Congressional Representative Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey says that, “We know that from the past, any sports venue – especially the Super Bowl – acts as a sex-trafficking magnet”
More than 3,100 children have been recovered from the sex industry to date leading to around 1,400 convictions.
One recent arrest was made when a mother tried pimping her own teenage daughter one week before the Superbowl.
The FBI’s Super Bowl operation has made real efforts as affiliates of the Innocence Lost National Initiative which was born 2003 through the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. They are also in partnership with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. These and many others are working together "to address the growing problem of forced child prostitution."
George Venizelos, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office released a statement that, “The sexual exploitation of children promotes the practice of inducting innocent victims into a life of prostitution. This epidemic, which is spreading rapidly throughout the nation, not only traps children in a life of misery but helps facilitate the activities of other criminals with direct connections to human trafficking, organized crime, and the illegal movement of immigrants. The migratory nature of these crimes makes it critical for law enforcement entities to work together to tackle this widespread dilemma. On behalf of the FBI’s New York Field Office, I would like to thank our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners who played a leading role in this operation and directly contributed to its overall success,”
If you even suspect that a child is being exploited please contact your local FBI office or call the toll free hotline of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at their 24-hour call center: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).