There’s a post circulating on social media about human trafficking during the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look.
Subject: Caution during Super Bowl week
Okay, sounds… vague.
I talked with [redacted], my daughter who attends U of MN, last night after her sorority meeting. She said they learned there had already been 56 arrests made in the Twin Cities related to human trafficking and Super Bowl week is just beginning.
“Two women who work with victims of sex trafficking said Monday that they have not yet seen an uptick in trafficked people the week before Super Bowl LII. But it is early yet, cautioned Beth Holger-Ambrose, the executive director of The Link.” (MPR News, January 29)
The girls were warned about safety measures including traveling and staying in groups at all times, etc. she also shared that the daughter of her roommate’s family friend who is a medical student at the U. was out on the street scraping her car windows at 7:30 am this weekend in MPLS when a van pulled up and three men jumped out and grabbed her. She was astute enough to scream and fight with them using the window scraper and fortunately she was only beat up and not abducted.
The “daughter of her roommate’s family friend” part is interesting. It’s told in a way that grabs your attention. And it worked, since as of this writing, one post I saw with this cautionary message had over 7000 shares on Facebook and over 150 comments.
I am not writing this to comment on the veracity of this particular incident. However, I wish the 7000+ shares of this post would also share facts and resources about sex trafficking and the Super Bowl.
Sharing with you all to share with your families friends – this human trafficking issue is real and expected to surge over the week. The girls were told that during big events like the Super Bowl, traffickers typically abducted young women (and men) and quickly ship them out of the state.
“…there is empirical evidence that like many large scale and localized events, the Super Bowl does impact local sex markets. However, the evidence does not support the claim that the Super Bowl creates large numbers of potential victims or the claim of Super Bowls being the biggest event-based impact. Exaggeration could reduce the credibility of important efforts to combat sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation, as well as efforts to destigmatize the women involved in the sex industry. ” (Research brief via UROC at the U of M, commissioned by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, June 2017).
Please be very cautious with your families when out and about, even here in Rochester and surrounding areas, during this time with well over 1 million additional people within 90 miles!
“Knowing the facts, being aware of the signs and making sure that everyone during this big event is safe is a great way to fight trafficking. Together, we need to remain focused on ending sexual exploitation in Minnesota 365 days a year.” (MN Girls Are Not For Sale, via Women’s Foundation of Minnesota).
Need support or resources? Contact The Link here. In addition – know that the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis will be open 24/7 during Super Bowl weekend, and does advocacy work year round to support victim-survivors of sexual violence.
Regarding the release of the annual Femicide Report from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women: Reporters Didn’t Go to a Press Conference on Femicide in Minnesota Because the Super Bowl Is More Important (via Jezebel)
And on the “normalcy” of low-flying helicopters conducting radiation-level testing, SWAT teams and military humvees everywhere, ICE agents being called in to help “protect and serve”… read this update from Unicorn Riot.