With the Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, news sources and a prominent pro-life congressman have warned the tens of thousands of attendees could be providing cover for the sexual trafficking of women and girls, reports LifeSiteNews.
According to Policy Mic, for example, “hundreds of thousands of people (mainly men) flock to the New York City metro area for the week’s festivities, [so] the primary motivator for increased prostitution is increased demand for it." CBS, meanwhile, cites a former victim-turned-advocate who says "The Super Bowl is a huge, huge arena for sex trafficking....[Some] are coming to the Super Bowl not even to watch football - they are coming to the Super Bowl to have sex with women, and/or men or children."
And in a hearing this week on Capitol Hill, Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who co-chairs the House anti-human trafficking caucus, said, “We know from the past, any sports venue — especially the Super Bowl — acts as a sex-trafficking magnet.”
Hard facts surrounding major events and related greater prevalence of sex trafficking are difficult to find. Records show the areas around several recent Super Bowls saw no increase in sex trafficking arrests - but many sex trafficking operations generate no arrests for weeks or months. The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking says on its Super Bowl 2014 “fact sheet” that “there are very few ways of collecting statistics on Human Trafficking.” The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has said the exact number of women sold into the sex trade during the Super Bowl is unknown.
What is indisputable is the fact that sex trafficking is all-too-real, and the NJ Coalition says using the Super Bowl to raise awareness is important.