This might be one of the biggest weekends for American sports, but it’s also one of the biggest weekends for commercial sex trafficking. Over the weekend, the New York/New Jersey area has been pressed to respond, resulting in billboards on Times Square and video messages in transit areas like bus and train stations. “Any event where there’s going to be a lot of men, a lot of money and a lot of alcohol, there’s going to be a an increase in demand for sex.” The Half Time Challenge was established to help bring awareness about Super Bowl sex trafficking.
Getting ready for Super Bowl Sex Trafficking
ABC News reported that ads for sexual services jumped by 50% last weekend and the activity is expected to rise. Workers in the transportation and hospitality industries have been trained so they will be alert to notice signs of trafficking and exploitation. An alert airline worker recognized two crying children accompanied by a man and reported his suspicions. ABC says the alert led to the discovery of 86 children in child prostitution in the Boston area. Workers most likely to cross paths with game-goers looking for entertainment beyond football were trained to look for signs such as:
- people without control of their own identification documents
- someone under the control of another person
- a person who looks lost or disoriented
Major sporting events attract human trafficking. Tragically, American football isn’t unique. In anticipation of hosting the World Cup in June, Brazil is already expecting a rise in sex trafficking to accompany the event. We may not have a ticket for the Super Bowl or the World Cup, but we can make a difference in the trafficking running like sewage beneath them. There’s no doubt prayer is a weapon to be used against the evil stirred up around these games.
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working,” (James 5:16b – ESV)
How to pray about Super Bowl sex trafficking
- That God will stir people who see billboards, etc to reject the evil of trafficking.
- For victims to look to God for help, to have courage, & to receive rescue.
- Exposure & justice for pimps, johns, and perpetrators.
- Conviction in the face of temptation for potential customers.
- For law enforcement to recognize victims & perpetrators & to respond with wisdom.
- Insight & integrity for workers in transportation & hospitality industries.
- Compassion & skill for first responders dealing with victims.
- Christ-likeness for believers at & around the event, to be used of God.
- Safety for law enforcement confronting criminals & attempting rescues.
- Healing for those caught in this darkness in any way.
And as a final encouragement, may I encourage you to take a stand against feeding desires that can become a gateway for trafficking? Turn off pornographic commercials that stimulate an appetite for self-gratification and lead to the kind of identity crisis that puts young girls and boys at risk. By treating borderline porn as entertainment, we drop our guard and that of our loved ones, and we develop a calloused conscience to the evil of sexual exploitation.
The Evil One has always used the strategy of taking some good and using it for evil. Let’s enjoy the game, but let’s tand against the evil around it.
(Download your free copy of Released: 30 Days to Stand for Freedom. This is a devotional guide that will inform and inspire you in how to understand and pray about the evils of human trafficking and modern day slavery.)