Super Bowl & Human Trafficking
What can you do?
Learn more by reading recent articles in the National Catholic Reporter: Ahead of Super Bowl, efforts against trafficking come to forefront and Does anybody care about human trafficking?
In the run up to the 2014 Super Bowl on Feb. 2, School Sisters of Notre Dame are focused on bringing awareness to a related issue that overshadows the iconic sports event – human sex trafficking.
The biggest sex-trafficking event in the United States is the Super Bowl, which brings an 80 percent increase in trafficking to the area where it is being played. The 2010 Super Bowl in Miami brought an estimated 10,000 prostitutes to the city, and during the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, there were 133 underage prostitution arrests, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A tri-state coalition of 40 Roman Catholic institutions located throughout the New York metro area is working to bring awareness to the issue. Volunteers have contacted more than 1,200 hotels and motels in areas surrounding Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Seventy-nine percent of hotel/motel managers have requested and received educational information, and some have begun formal training of their staff members to make them aware of how to spot trafficking activity and what to do.
Sisters Claire Bonneau, SSND; Loreen Spaulding, SSND; Joan Connelly, SSND; Ethel Howley, SSND; Arlene Flaherty, OP; and Rose Mary Sullivan, CND, were engaged in Super Bowl hotel/motel outreach. Sister Joanne Munoz, SSND, provided the outreach coalition with Spanish translation of resources for the hotel/motel staff awareness campaign.
Students at SSND-sponsored Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, N.J., also are involved in awareness efforts. The students, who received training last fall, are participating in New Jersey Project Stay Gold, a student movement to abolish modern day slavery. The participants are creators of the Not On Our Turf Campaign. Holy Angels students also held a fundraiser to raise money for Life Way Network, a coalition of sisters who house trafficking victims in a safe house in New York. Their efforts provided five winter comforters for victims staying there.
SSNDs and Holy Angels staff also are participating in the "S.O.A.P. UP New Jersey Mobilization," in conjunction with the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) project. Volunteers helped wrap bars of soap with the New Jersey trafficking hotline number and distributed them to low-budget motels in the area. They hope victims will see the number and call.