The Super Bowl brings in all kinds of business, but it’s not all good. According to a Reuters report, it’s also one of the biggest days on the calendar for the underage sex trade.
The Dallas Police and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot are expecting pimps to traffic thousands of underage girls into the Dallas–Fort Worth area this weekend, with the hopes of picking up extra business from the influx of men.
According to Change.org, the average age of these girls is 13, with a life expectancy of seven years. Unfortunately, it isn’t anything new. The report offered this grim statistic:
Up to 300,000 girls between 11 and 17 are lured into the U.S. sex industry annually, according to a 2007 report sponsored by the Department of Justice and written by the nonprofit group Shared Hope International.
It’s estimated that up to 10,000 adults and underage girls have been taken to previous Super Bowls. Pimps have been known to buy out taxis in order to convert them to “mobile brothels.”
There have been rescues. Over the last two years, 50 girls have been saved from their captors at the Super Bowls in Miami and Tampa. Still, a mere 50 out of thousands seems like a drop in the bucket.
The campaign has even gained the attention of NFL pro Jay Ratliff, the Dallas Cowboy and three-time Pro Bowler, who put out his own public service announcement. In the ad, Ratliff declares, “Real men don’t buy children. They don’t buy sex.” (You can see an interview with him here.)
He’s right. Real men stand up against abuse. The Super Bowl is one of America’s favorite events, the most viewed TV event all year. But while you’re watching the big game on the big screen, don’t forget about these silenced girls living in the dark.