The Super Bowl is the single largest incident of human trafficking in the United States, according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. This year, unfortunately, is not unique. While thousands upon thousands of men flock to New Orleans for the NFL championship game, pimps find the ideal location to bring their victims. With the crowds, there is simultaneously a greater demand for prostitution and a greater opportunity to go unnoticed by law enforcement.
“The Super Bowl is the greatest show on Earth, but it also has an ugly underbelly,” Abbott toldUSA Today in 2011 when his state was preparing to host the event. “It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States.”
“It’s not so much that you become a victim at the Super Bowl, but that many victims are brought in to be used for all the men at the Super Bowl,” Stephanie Kilper, a representative for Operation Freedom Taskforce toldNews Net 5. Kilper works for the Akron, Ohio based organization, which aims to fight human trafficking.
The Huffington Post tells the story of Clemmie Greenlee, who was abducted and raped by her captors at the tender age of 12. She grew up in forced prostitution. When the Super Bowl came, Greenlee recalls she was forced to have sex with 25 to 50 men a day. And, if she didn’t, the consequences were dire.
“If you don’t make that number (of sex customers), you’re going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it,” Greenlee told theTimes-Picayune.“I mean with beatings, I mean with over and over rapings. With just straight torture. The worst torture they put on you is when they make you watch the other girl get tortured because of your mistake.”
Greenlee, now 53, works as an advocate for sex trafficking victims in Louisiana. Events like the Super Bowl, she said, draw pimps and their girls from all over the nation. She recalls being moved around from state to state for big events.
“We treat these people as victims,” said Ray Parmer. “They are not arrested, they are not removed from the United States, we treat them as victims.”
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