The World Series started in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Red Sox and has a majority of American’s focused on the beautiful game of baseball but, in Akron, Ohio; a group titled Operation Freedom Taskforce (OFT) is one of the few focusing on the potential for a rise in sex trafficking.
The attention has left St. Louis as the games have moved to Fenway Park in Boston, but it was Stephanie Kilper from OFT, who had this to say about St. Louis, “They have to sleep with 8,9,10 men through the course of an evening. These are girls that are 13, 14, and 15-years-old are being brought in, and set up and forced to do things they wouldn't want to do.”
It is pretty clear not much will change with the different venue.
Due to the lack of statistical links, in numerous places there is an absence of ‘year-around stats’ to compare when a major sporting event occurs, many would have people believe these events don’t attract a higher sex trafficking concern.
But, even though statistics are tough to gather, there are a number of reported incidents that can be cited that help throw common sense into the mix.
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Like the ones mentioned on the website “Buried Truths”:
- November 1, 2007 - “…during the Olympic Games in Athens, no preventative measures were taken to decrease sex trafficking and the number of sex trafficking victims doubled in the months leading up to and during the event.”
- July 19, 2009 – “…increased sex attacks in Sydney during the 2000 Olympic Games.
- February 29,2012 – “sporting events such as the Superbowl where pimps hiring cab drivers as moving brothels specifically during the event timeframe occurred frequently.”
Kilper and others have kept these occurrences in mind during the games already played in St. Louis and they will keep trying to educate people when they continue in Boston.
OFT has been a wonderful source of inspiration since their launch early last year and, according to their Facebook page, they had contacted Governor Kasich to see if they could be of any help in this fight in whatever way possible.
Unlike authorities in St. Louis and Boston, once the World Series ends, groups and individuals like OFTwill keep a year around focus on human trafficking and slavery. If you would like to help them...turning to their Facebook page would be a good start.
For more info: for those who live Ohio and want more information, please contact the Ohio Attorney Generals Office at: 800-282-0515 or local: 614-466-4986. They are located at 30 E Broad St #14, Columbus, OH 43215 (Transit: E Broad St & N High St). For directions, please see Google Maps
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Ohio Missing Persons Community Support:
- Ohio Attorney General: ‘In this traumatic time do not cut yourself off from others who can support you such as family, friends and clergy. Talk to your doctor if increased stress is affecting your health.”
- Team Hope: The mission of Team HOPE is to assist families with missing, exploited and recovered children by offering peer support including empowerment, emotional support and coping skills from a trained volunteer who has had or still has a missing or exploited child.
Sources: https://www.facebook.com/OperationFreedomTaskforce; http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/national/a-lurid-journey-through-backpagecom#ixzz1v2zXlNoJ, Deborah Feyerick, CNN; http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/10/28/world-series-strippers-st-louis/3285495/, Leisa Zigman, KSDK; http://www.cicatelli.org/TitleX/downloadable/Human%20Trafficking%20Statistics.pdf; http://www.cklawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/vol85no3/Hayes.pdf; http://www.buriedtruths.com/sex-trafficking-2012-olympics/