This past Sunday approximately 49 percent of American households were tuned into the nation’s 50th Super Bowl according to Fox. For anyone wondering, that translates to approximately 111 million viewers, and doesn’t count the estimated 4 million that streamed it digitally.
As impressive as these numbers are, there is another, much smaller statistic that we should all, as arguably free people, be aware of. Between January 15th and February 1st, law enforcement in our country made nearly 600 arrests on human trafficking and solicitation charges.
This was the result of a nationwide sting, referred to as the “Day of Johns” in reference to consumers in the sex trafficking industry. The timing of this endeavor was no accident; some assert that major sporting events such as the Super Bowl drive an increase in trafficking activities. Whether or not this is the case, we are glad to see our nation’s police taking the matter seriously, and tying the effort to the Super Bowl will certainly help raise awareness, as the LA Times and Huffington Post have already demonstrated.
Florida itself ranks third in the nation for Human Trafficking activity, and Tampa is a major part of it. Organizations like The Rachel Project and Polaris Project have made waves in the community and this newest sting shows a shift in prosecution endeavors as well. Instead of going after the prostitutes who are often unwilling participants, this operation specifically targeted the pimps and would-be buyers.
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