The Super Bowl will take place this year on February 5th in Houston, Texas. It’s long been believed that the Super Bowl is the largest human trafficking event in the United States. However, this may no longer be the case.
While it is still unclear how much sex trafficking the Super Bowl attracts compared to other large events, it appears that the spike in the crime is no longer as dramatic as it used to be. A research committee organized by a coalition led by United Against Human Trafficking even found there to be no scientific evidence that trafficking increases around the Super Bowl.
This may appear to be good news, it is possible that it is just the opposite.
Human trafficking is a problem driven by demand. As people from around the country–even the world–gather in one place for the Super Bowl, the demand for sex trafficking victims increases. It is possible that this demand has decreased over the years, causing the less dramatic spike. However, it is also possible that the demand for these services has increased on other days of the year and in other cities.
The only way to address the growing demand is by acknowledging that human trafficking is a problem every day of the year in every city. We need to send a message that purchasing people for sex is illegal and is to be severely punished.
Women used for commercial sexual exploitation are victims. In order for them to be recognized as such, a shift in definition from “prostitution” to “commercial sexual exploitation” must be made. These women are not working for themselves. They are working to meet a quota set for them by their pimp. They are working to avoid facing the dreadful consequences, including physical harm.
There’s an old saying that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, but really, it’s the oldest form of abuse in the world.