That is not the case for the land of our birth....football is sort of a thing in our Texas history. However, This year more than ever hearing the words "Super Bowl" has felt like a kick in the stomach, reminding me of the horrors, excess, and oppression that such mass sporting events invite. It's not all fun and games. Even if it is for us (I have been known to enjoy a good football game), there are others who are being exploited in horrific ways, and they deserve our attention more than the end zone.
So, before finishing prep on delicious game day appetizers, snacks, and plans...please take some time to be aware of the trauma these events allow, and spread the awareness to others. Awareness is an incredible tool for fighting injustice; without it, the oppressed are left to remain as forgotten as they believe they are.
The above quote was taken from one of many write ups about the "dark side" of the Super Bowl. As I type, this event has already caused the enslavement and exploitation of countless women, children, and even men, who are being sold dozens of times to merry makers who feel entitled to have a little fun at the expense of another. This is not about condemning those who enslave them, or use them - but about freedom for all.
A quick Google search will bring loads of information about this subject to your finger tips. The article below shares the incredible testimony of a woman rescued from sex slavery. Here's an excerpt of her story:
"When they come to these kinds of events, the first thing you're told is how many you're gonna perform a day," she said Friday. "You've got to go through 25 men a day, or you're going through 50 of them. When they give you that number, you better make that number."
Having been abducted and gang-raped by her captors at age 12, Greenlee said, she was one of about eight girls controlled by a ring of pimps, men who injected them with heroin and, at times, kept them handcuffed to beds. For trying to run away, she was once stabbed in the back.
Now 53, Greenlee works at Eden House in Uptown New Orleans, the first shelter for sex-trafficking victims in Louisiana; the center opened in October 2012.
"If you don't make that number (of sex customers), you're going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it," Greenlee said. "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."
...In the past year, authorities in Louisiana have been working to raise awareness about the rampant sex trafficking that has historically accompanied the Super Bowl. While there is a widespread perception that human trafficking is a problem only in foreign countries, data from the U.S. Department of Justice show the average American prostitute begins working between the ages of 12 and 14..."
Read the rest of the article here:
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/02/former_sex_trafficking_victim.htmlUpdate: or this great article published today, game day: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/03/super-bowl-sex-trafficking_n_2607871.html#slide=2055466
This information isn't fun to hear. It's easier to ignore these realities, focusing on the good, fun, harmless aspects of such events as the Super Bowl. Hopefully many of you will be blessed by the fellowship of family and friends at Super Bowl parties, enjoying famous dips, laughing at commercials, throwing a football during halftime, and enjoying the best of what this event has to offer.
However, the "other side" does exist, and we must take the time to become aware in order to shed suffocating light in the dark corners of our world. What I'm asking is that in the midst of enjoying the Good, that we take time to remember those who are suffering, and being exploited. Take time to read articles, become aware, and spread the word. Please join us and remember those who are not free and make the decision to raise awareness, to fight slavery and oppression - not only around the world, but right next door.
For more information and ways to get involved, here are two organizations that we are the most familiar with that I can highly recommend, and there are more!