Who is excited for the Super Bowl? I know I am. Although it’s not an official holiday, its a time where the entire country comes together and celebrates the essence of America. Food, friends, yelling, commercials, football… who wouldn’t be pumped? For most of the country, it’s a dream come true. But for a large group of people, it is their worst nightmare. Over the past few years, it has been revealed that the superbowl is the single largest human trafficking incident in the US. This fact has been widely disputed ever since it was released in 2011, but the message still stands. Human trafficking is an issue and while we celebrate and live our normal lives, this issue continues.
To quote a well respected pastor, David Platt, “We live in a country of profitable sex industries of all sorts. Prostitution is rampant, sex trafficking a $58 billion industry worldwide and the US ranked high among destinations for victims of sex trafficking. Listen to these words taken from a reputable report on sex trafficking, ‘A human trafficker can earn 20 times what he or she paid for the girl, provided the girl wasn’t physically brutalized ruining her beauty, the pimp could sell her again for a higher price because he had trained her and broken her spirit which saves future buyers the hassle. One study in the Netherlands shows on average, a single sex slave earns her pimp $250,000 a year. Sex traffickers use a variety of ways to condition their victims, including subjecting them to starvation, rape, gang rape, physical abuse, beating, confinement, threats of violence towards the victim and the victims family, forced drug use, and shame. These victims suffer devastating physical and physiological harm. However, due to language barriers, lack of knowledge about available services, and the frequency with which traffickers move victims, human trafficking victims and their perpetrators are difficult to catch.’ This is not just “out there.” Interstate 20, which runs right through Birmingham, Alabama, is known as “the largest sex traffic corridor in America.” To bring it even more into this room, it is sex trafficking that in so many ways fuels and is fueled by the pornography industry in our culture, which brings in revenues of over 13 billion dollars a year, the fourth highest among all countries in the world. Every second, $3,000 is spent on pornography and 28,000 Internet users view pornography.”
I will soon write a blog post about the ties of pornography and human trafficking, but I hope you all see that this is an issue that is rampant even though most of us do not see it. During the Superbowl this weekend, I ask you all to take some time and think about those stuck in human trafficking. Thanks for reading,