Action step against trafficking: Help Hope4Justice serve dinner to Rebound families this coming Thursday, Feb.7th. See details below.
SuperBowl LIII & trafficking
Many say that trafficking increases when large sporting events occur. Others say research doesn't back up those claims. Regardless, it's accurate to say that Atlanta, Georgia has a reputation for sex trafficking and whether or not today's SuperBowl causes an increase, it's good to spotlight what's going on in Atlanta and work to decrease trafficking.
According to Wikipedia, "Atlanta is now a major transportation hub when it comes to trafficking young girls from Mexico and is one of the fourteen U.S. cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children."
Why Atlanta? Wikipedia explains, "The same ready access to commercial air and ground routes that draws businesses and travelers to Atlanta also entices criminals engaged in human trafficking" and "There are numerous events and conventions in Atlanta that bring many people to the city which also exemplifies the issue."
For SuperBowl LIII there have been several efforts to combat trafficking. On January 17, 2019 WSB-TV2 in Atlanta reported that 70 Uber drivers were recently trained to spot sex trafficking. Deborah Richardson, executive director of the International Human Trafficking Institute said, "Big events like the Super Bowl only make matters worse for victims. Whenever you have lots of people coming in with disposable income, you are going to have human trafficking,”
It's also been reported that a sting operation resulted in multiple arrests in metro Atlanta. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "On Jan. 23 and 24, Homeland Security assisted in a joint operation in Douglas County using undercover officers, social media sites and local hotel rooms, the Douglasville Police Department said Wednesday. Sixteen people were arrested, according to police, and the youngest person involved was 17. The timing of the crackdown was related to the Super Bowl, police said."
Additionally, CNN.com reports that the city of Atlanta is using the SuperBowl attention to spotlight the year-round issue of trafficking. "The Super Bowl is an opportunity for us to talk about it, but it's something we have to be vigilant about 12 months out of the year," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN. "It's about making sure that the thousands of men and women who work in our hotels understand what the signs are. It's about making sure our police officers understand what the signs are. It's about making sure the public is informed."
CNN goes on to say, "The extra dose of messaging is all over the city. Posters in the airport, convenience stores and gas stations list the warning signs of trafficking and a hotline number. Delta Air Lines' inflight videos carry the message, too. In churches in Atlanta throughout January, groups held public information sessions on how to spot trafficking in communities. Volunteers went into hotels to share the signs with employees."
With all of these efforts, let's pray that the real increase in numbers at this SuperBowl is of rescued victims and arrests of johns and pimps.
Let's pray that the messages of help plant the seed of hope in a trafficked victim's mind.
And let's pray that SuperBowl LIII becomes known as an event that turned the tide on sex trafficking in Atlanta.
Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit http://www.hope4justice.org/the-facts/
-- Save the date --
The Restoring Hope Fundraising Gala for Engedi Refuge Ministries will be on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Four Points by Sheraton, 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229. Click here for details.
Hope4Justice will be serving dinner to Rebound families on Thursday, Feb.7, 2019 from 5-7 pm at CTK Bellingham. More help is needed! RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or just show up at 5pm.