Unfortunately wherever you find large crowds of people you will find the traffickers. And that great sports event we all love to cheer, brings the most traffickers each year. This time the FBI was ready. In the shadow of the big game, sixteen teenagers, mostly girls, were rescued by authorities while 45 traffickers were arrested. You can read the ABC news report here. What we can learn from these arrest is that all of us can be involved in ending trafficking in America.
Some of the girls were rescued because ordinary people noticed unusual activity and called the national hotline (888) 373-7888. You can too. Next time you walk by a suspicious massage parlor, nail salon or see increased activity of young girls with a convention in town – make a call. These girls were “rescued” because of work by legislators to not criminalize victims. They were placed with supportive social services because of a strong network of providers that work together to address legal, psychological, social and other needs. Many of Gospel Justice Initiative’s friends are leading these efforts from Libby Coles of Justice Matters in North Carolina who was recently appointed by the governor to lead efforts in that state, to the work of Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic in Indiana and Administer Justice in Illinois. Read more here.
In addition to these service providers I give kudos to the organizers of the Super Bowl. I don’t know whether intentional or not, but one of the best ways to stop trafficking is to attack it at its source – which is the sexual exploitation of women. Antics like Janet Jackson’s alleged wardrobe malfunction a few years ago at the Super Bowl only emphasize sex. This year’s half time show was much different. So were the commercials. Much more inspirational than sensational and marketers should be encouraged to continue that trend.
When we all work together there is great hope that we can stop the exploitation, abuse and trafficking that happens every day across this country. Let’s work and pray together toward that end. Let’s go and do likewise.