It has become widely known that the Super Bowl, which will be hosted in Minneapolis Feb. 4, drives up sex trafficking in a host city. Less well known: any large event prompts a spike. Research commissioned by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has shown that the Super Bowl is no different than other large public events in spiking demand. Which is also to say that it happens 365 days a year with regularity across the country, and throughout Minnesota.

The 2018 Super Bowl Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee is serious about the responsibility of being a host city. As co-chairs, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Hennepin County, and Ramsey County are leading a statewide effort to confront the daily reality of sex trafficking and increase awareness of the issue. The committee is working in partnership with more than 40 organizations, including advocates, victim and survivor service providers, law enforcement agencies, businesses, faith communities, cities, counties.

Powerful steps you can take

1. Reduce the demand. Talk to the men and boys in your life about the harmful attitudes and exploitation in the commercial sex industry. Men As Peacemakers (MAP, menaspeacemakers.org), based in Duluth, is engaging men and people of all gender identities as change agents to create a culture where there is no demand for commercial sex. MAP’s Don’t Buy It Project includes educational resources for individuals, groups, and communities to learn and take action.

2. Increase awareness, of yourself and others. Visit the Polaris Project (polarisproject.org) to learn the signs of sex trafficking and how you can help. Support positive self-identity for youth of all ages. Monitor your child’s online use. Know the signs of a possible victim:

  • Multiple unexplained school absences.
  • A tendency to run away from home.
  • Frequent travel to other cities.
  • Older boyfriends or girlfriends.
  • A sudden ability to have expensive items
  • Appearing depressed or suffering injuries.

3. Support the efforts of the Women's Foundation MN Girls Are Not For Sale program (mngirls.org) to end sex trafficking statewide. Make a financial donation and spread word about the campaign.

4. Let your elected officials know you are concerned about the issue. Use the Minnesota District Finder to find out how to contact your legislators directly.

— from resources provided by MN Girls Are Not For Sale