This article was written by Tera Hilliard, President and CEO of Forgotten Children, Inc.
In just a few short days, Inglewood, CA a suburb of Los Angeles County will host Super Bowl LVI. Major sporting events like the Olympics, World Cup, and Super Bowl attract thousands of visitors—and where there are crowds, there’s a demand for sex.
Recognizing Los Angeles’ Trafficking Problem
The County of Los Angeles is the most populous in the nation and is also a location where large numbers of children and youth are victimized through commercial sexual exploitation (CSE).
According to a report produced by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Los Angeles County, reported 92% of girls in the juvenile justice system identified as victims of sex trafficking were Black. Of those, 62% were from the child welfare system.
Victims of human trafficking often lack the resources necessary to escape their trafficker and will stay in spite of the extreme violence and fear they face daily.
Local Efforts to Help Victims and Change the Narrative
Forgotten Children, Inc. (FCI) is working to change the narrative especially during the Super Bowl by providing trauma informed resources and support to victims looking for a way out. FCI has teamed up with 13 local non-profits and the South Los Angeles Anti-Trafficking Committee (SLAATC) to increase services, provide resources and create a safe space for victims.
FCI and the members from SLAATC believe that safety is the number one priority for any victim of human trafficking, along with building trust and addressing critical needs.
A triage area at a non-disclosed location will be established, where victims can receive a wide array of wrap around services in a trauma informed and safe environment. Long term assistance will be provided by local partners and case managers.
Through the local efforts, volunteers will be trained to outreach on streets, strip clubs, motels and a 24-7 hotline will be in place to respond to the most immediate needs. Community partners will also work with local law enforcement agencies to provide emergency response to victims during sting operations.
How You Can Join Grassroots Efforts
Help raise awareness and stop sex trafficking! Post graphics and messages using #TackleDemand leading up to and on the day of the Super Bowl.