January 22, 2018

This Website Will Be a Hub for Sex Trafficking at the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl.

Football, half-time, hilarious commercials. And sex trafficking.

In recent years, the public has become more aware of the tragedy of sex trafficking at large sporting events or conferences. Because of this awareness, law enforcement is preemptively striving to ensure safety and security to the many thousands of men and women that will be pouring into the Minneapolis area for the Super Bowl.

But in the age of technology, the danger of sex trafficking is no longer restricted to the streets.

Websites, like Backpage.com, make ‘pimping out’ and sex trafficking easy.

Backpage.com is the leading website known for the facilitation of online prostitution andThis year at the Super Bowl, sex trafficking isn't only on the streets,It's online. sex trafficking in America. Sex buyers don’t have to risk walking past a cop on the corner when they can simply go online and search for the man, woman, or child they want to sexually exploit for pleasure. Unfortunately, the combination of the Super Bowl and Backpage’s advertising for commercial sex presents pimps and sex traffickers with opportunities to make money.

Legislators and law enforcement alike know that Backpage will be a hub for trafficking during the Super Bowl. In past years, prostitution busts surrounding the Super Bowl regularly revolve around ads posted on Backpage.com.

It is therefore vital that law enforcement officials monitor Backpage.com during, and after, the Super Bowl for sex trafficking and prostitution in order to identify and aid victims.

You can take action in two important ways.

1. Participate in the 2018 Tackle Demand social media awareness campaign

You can help spread the message that “real sports fans don’t buy sex” on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr by signing our Thunderclap. Thunderclap is a tool that creates a “virtual flashmob” in order to raise awareness about an issue by scheduling a one-time message to go out on your account.

These messages will all be posted on the same day, at the same time, in order to reach a wider audience! Sign up below:

Learn more about the Tackle Demand campaign here.

2. Ask Senators to hold websites like Backpage.com accountable so they are no longer immune from liability for facilitating sex trafficking.

You can learn more about the law that currently protects sex trafficking websites here.

Haley McNamara (Halverson)

Vice President and Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation

Haley McNamara (formerly Halverson) is the Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK, and a Vice President at the U.S. based National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She leads international efforts and joint campaigns to improve policies and education among global governing bodies, citizenry, and corporations regarding the full web of sexual exploitation issues. Her advocacy work has contributed to policy improvements in social media, online advertising, retail, and hotel industries. She has advocated at the United Nations, led international coalition campaigns, presented to Danish, Croatian, Colombian and Rwandan government officials, and more

She is a former member of the Washington DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. This Committee advises DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on the multi-faceted continuum of the District of Columbia’s child welfare services, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and sources of permanency.

Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Croatian government officials. She has provided training to Arlington County Child & Family Services on the social media grooming, recruitment, and advertising for sex trafficking. She has a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins University where she received honors for her thesis regarding the online commercial sexual exploitation marketplace.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for a cultural media outlet. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) with a double major, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internships in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, BBC News, New York Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, the Washington Examiner, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, The Detroit News, Lifezette, The Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

She has written op-eds for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, FoxNews.com, Washington Examiner, Townhall.com, Darling Magazine, the Daytona-Beach News Journal, and has been published in the Journal of Internet Law and the journal Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and ViolenceShe has also contributed to a digital middle school curriculum regarding the links between sex trafficking and pornography as well as the public health impacts of sex trafficking.

Further Reading