The Super Bowl and other large sporting events have become synonymous with sex trafficking, given that the conditions surrounding the event are conducive to increased exploitation and trafficking, particularly of minors.
Major events like the Super Bowl attract thousands of people to a “hotspot” where trafficked girls and women are coerced by pimps to sell and meet the demands of these visitors (i.e. perpetrators), mostly men. As highlighted in our Tackle Demand campaign, it’s highly important to understand and highlight the role the Super Bowl and other large events play in increasing the demand for paid sex and how we can combat the demand.
NCOSE Joins with Coalition to End Demand
Dr. Stephany Powell, NCOSE Director of Law Enforcement Training and Survivors Services, is local to Los Angeles, California, and has been working with local organizations and law enforcement to provide critical training and support ahead of the Super Bowl taking place in Inglewood, California this year.
These critical efforts included a training workshop to approximately 100 outreach, crisis, and hotline volunteers who will be working during the Super Bowl, as well as a press conference to local media.
Local Grassroots Efforts from Organizations
The press conference featured voices of a coalition of Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations who are prepared to assist juvenile and adult human trafficking victims before, during, and after the Super Bowl. As Dr. Powell stated at the press conference, these organizations “are the ones that are actually in the trenches” and therefore can give the most meaningful and impactful suggestions to combat sex trafficking.
These organizations include:
Addressing Demand is Necessary in the Conversation
Dr. Powell also highlighted the difficulty of talking about human trafficking without really talking about “the elephant in the room”—demand.
“The bottom line is that demand fuels the illegal sex trade.
On average, U.S. sex buyers spend more than a hundred dollars per transaction.
I want it to be understood that behind every trafficker there is a buyer. Curbing demand is the way to prevent sex trafficking.”
Dr. Powell’s training workshop for volunteers in preparation for the Super Bowl highlighted escalation and de-escalation of potential trafficking situations. The objective was for the learner to be able to de-escalate a conflict through the art of conversation and appropriate body language. Volunteers also learned how to remain safe when confronted and what to do once the situation was resolved, including taking care of themselves and their emotions. All of this was done from a demand-focused lens, recognizing that focusing action and punishment on buyers is of utmost importance in deterring other buyers.
Join the Efforts to #TackleDemand
Continuing this important advocacy, local organizations previously mentioned will be passing out flyers on the day of the Super Bowl in hopes of educating, raising awareness, and stemming sex buying and trafficking.
Dr. Powell warns that “this is not an issue that can be arrested away.” Law enforcement, service providers, and all must realize the very real economy—including the demand that exists for paid sex—driving sex trafficking and the abuse of girls and women.
Curbing demand is the most effective way to prevent sex trafficking. Until major events like the Super Bowl are willing to focus efforts on demand reduction tactics, victims will continue to be exploited.
Help raise awareness and stop sex trafficking! Post graphics and messages using #TackleDemand leading up to and on the day of the Super Bowl.