The biggest sporting event in modern times is coming to Indianapolis- the Super Bowl. The city has been preparing for years for this event- rebuilding streets, modernizing the downtown, moving the homeless out of the area, fixing up schools. Of course the year we actually get the Super Bowl the Colts are nowhere near being contenders- we’re just hoping to win a couple of games this season. This puts a small damper on the excitement that the Colts would be the first team to play the big game in their hometown- but, alas, it was not meant to be.
The NFL has been hiring part time workers for the game and the weeks leading up to it. Apparently there is need for 100’s of temporary workers to deal with the influx of crowds that will descend on Nap-Town in late January. I can imagine there will be lots of families coming to town that have saved a long time to come to the Super Bowl. Maybe they live in a near by state and it’s the first time it’s feasible for them to come. Or, maybe a parent got a bonus and wanted to spend it by bringing their family to a “once in a lifetime” event.
I know the city will be buzzing as the time approaches. I get to work downtown about 5 minutes away from the stadium. It will be fun to see everyone coming into town to cheer on their teams- actually maybe Manning’s injury is a conspiracy so more out of towners will come in for the week (but I digress!). I will definitely be taking our family down for some of the fun!
But, apparently not every family has good intentions when they come into town for an event like this. Apparently there are sicko’s and perverts that come into town to have sex with children and our city is preparing for a spike in sex trafficking in the weeks leading up to the game! I heard this on the local radio station and my jaw dropped! http://www.wibc.com/news/Story.aspx?ID=1548343 Seriously, have people’s consciences been so severely damaged that this is what they come to do?
According to this report sex trafficking has been a problem over the past several Super Bowls. Police are told that these will not be the “everyday prostitutes” that they encounter but rather parents will pimp out their children while the kids are smuggling and delivering drugs. This is beyond my comprehension on so many levels.
If I understand this right then let me paint a picture of how I imagine this going down. A guy (and that’s too nice of a word) comes to town. He finds out where to get some drugs and the dealer asks him if he’d like to have sex with his 12 year old daughter. The guy says “sure, that sounds nice”. The daughter doesn’t want to do it but is threatened with abuse, neglect or some other violence. When she shows up with the drugs the sicko invites her in and essentially rapes her and gives her the money for the drugs and sex.
The girl goes back home and gives the money to her freaking “parents” and is sent out to do it again!
Unfortunately, the laws of Indiana have apparent loop-holes where there is less than a 1% chance someone will be caught and convicted on human trafficking charges. The average person can bring in as much as $1,100 a week for the person who “owns” them. So, there is a high reward, low risk involved which just empowers the perpetrators.
According to another report as many as 10,000 girls and women are imported to “service” Super Bowl crowds! What is wrong with our society?!!!
Human Trafficking is a 30 billion dollar industry worldwide and growing. Statistically there are more slaves in the world today than when the US sanctioned slavery. This shocked me when I first heard it and continues to anger me against the injustice. I feel powerless to address but know that the millions of people that this affects won’t be set free because I “feel bad”.
There are organizations addressing this issue but there is so much corruption that it’s sometimes hard to go into areas and address it. The Justice Mission and World Vision are two that I admire and have worked with in the past. They have done amazing work around the world and have helped free 1ooo’s and offer rehabilitation and healing.
What can we do to raise awareness and work with organizations to address this in our communities? Do we have a responsibility to even address it? How far will we go to ensure another’s freedom and restore their dignity?