Sex trafficking at the Super Bowl?

Published 11:17 pm Friday, January 31, 2014

By Chris Surber

There are some things I wish I didn’t know. Ignorance, it has been said, is a necessary condition of life. If we had personal knowledge of all the horrors in the world, anxiety would consume us. Anguish would cripple us.

Two years ago, I read a series of articles about sex slaves in America. I wish I had not. While sand doesn’t taste very good, it can be easier to keep your head buried than to know hard truths.

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The estimated number of sex slaves varies widely from report to report. The data is difficult to accurately ascertain. According to UNESCO, there may be as many as 1.75 million sex slaves worldwide.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center estimates that it is a $32 billion industry, with at least half of that coming from industrialized countries. The problem is so big and so deserving of attention that President Obama designated January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Sex slavery among women and children is a serious problem worldwide. We are not immune to this reality in America.

These past weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, I’ve read a number of news articles implying that there is a surge of sex trafficking at and around the Super Bowl. Several experts on the subject say that it’s a myth.

Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot called the Super Bowl “the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.” On the other hand, the 2011 report by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women reads thusly: “There is no evidence that large sporting events cause an increase in trafficking for prostitution.”

Whether the indictment of the Super Bowl by some is accurate or not, I’m glad there has been media attention given of late to the matter of human trafficking. Prostitution isn’t glamorous. It’s not all Las Vegas brothel reality shows and Julia Roberts beauties in “Pretty Woman” movie-like love stories.

Sex trafficking involves kidnapped children smuggled through Latin America into the U.S. and held captive for the pleasure of paying customers. Sex trafficking involves young women seduced and led into drug addiction by gangs of vile men, who use them and discard them in a manner not befitting purebred dogs in puppy mills.

I can’t say that the Super Bowl is or isn’t a magnet for sex trafficking.

There are a lot of voices on both sides of the discussion.

I can say that while I wish I didn’t know about sex trafficking in the world, I do know. As a follower of Jesus, I’m compelled to do what I can to bring justice to those who lack it. In Isaiah 1:17 the prophet writes, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” (NLT)

How can you help bring justice to those enslaved in their souls through the exploitation of their bodies?

Go to and learn how you can be a part of the global movement to end sex slavery in our generation.

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at