The Tragic Side of the Super Bowl

By Sr. Margaret Hoffman, SNDThe tragic side of the Super Bowl

In February, the Super Bowl comes to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, and with it the increased demand and supply for sex trafficking. Sadly, this is typical for most major sporting events. Traffickers can now make more money on human trafficking with less risk than selling drugs, and they find it quite easy to engage young people—runaways, foster children, or others they attrack through the internet or on the streets. 

Recently, SNDs, Associates, and NDNU students took action to help stop human trafficking by helping hotel and motel staff learn to recognize and report human trafficking. These ND representatives went out in pairs to bring informational materials to locations in three San Mateo County cities, joining others from faith communities that worked throughout the Bay Area.

These ND actions are part of larger efforts to combat trafficking and slavery in the Bay Area. Police Chiefs and their officers have been better trained; local civic leaders and U.S. Representative Jackie Speier are taking the issue seriously; awareness has been raised through churches and schools.  More resources are also available for victims of trafficking.

How can YOU help? 

1. Be aware of warning signs at airports, hotels or on public transit, and report your concerns:

  • Airport: Young person has no control over ID papers or travel documents; anxious or nervous behavior; avoiding eye contact, not speaking on one’s own behalf; asking permission from companion to eat or use the bathroom.
  • Hotel: Having few personal belongings; carrying them in a bag; individuals monitoring guests in the lobby; children taking on adult roles, e.g., paying the bill; scripted communication.
  • Transit: Adults travelling with non-related children; bruises or other signs of abuse; individual unaware of travel plans or destinations.

If you see an immediate threat:  call 911.
If you suspect a problem, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Do not ever engage those suspected on your own! 

2. Visit the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC) and Stop Slavery websites if you want to become involved.

3. Pray for the safety of our young and for potential predators.

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