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Debunking The Myth – Why The Super Bowl Does Not Cause Human Trafficking

Written by: Heidi Chance, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Heidi Chance

Every year, as the Super Bowl approaches, there is a surge of concern and speculation about the increase in human trafficking that allegedly accompanies the event. However, this widely perpetuated myth overlooks the complexities of human trafficking and fails to accurately address the issue. In this article, we will debunk the myth that the Super Bowl causes human trafficking and explore the realities of how sex traffickers operate, how law enforcement responds, and the tactics traffickers use to evade detection during and outside of large events.

Businessman in car giving money to prostitute

Understanding how sex traffickers operate


Sex traffickers are highly organized and opportunistic criminals who prey on vulnerable individuals for profit. They use various tactics to manipulate and exploit their victims, including coercion, deception, and physical violence. Contrary to popular belief, traffickers do not rely solely on large events like the Super Bowl to conduct their illicit activities. Instead, they operate year-round, targeting victims in diverse settings such as online platforms, strip clubs, known areas for prostitution, and many other settings.


Traffickers bring their victims to large events like the Super Bowl for several reasons. Firstly, these events attract a significant number of potential buyers, allowing traffickers to maximize their profits. Secondly, the transient nature of such events makes it easier for traffickers to exploit victims without fear of detection or intervention. Additionally, the anonymity and anonymity of large crowds provide cover for traffickers to operate without attracting attention. Finally, traffickers are constantly moving from city to city, state to state because they need their victims to remain completely isolated and dependent on them so that they do not feel that they can escape their victimization.


Following large events


While traffickers may capitalize on large events that attract predominantly male attendees, such as the Super Bowl, it is crucial to recognize that these events do not cause human trafficking. Instead, traffickers see them as opportunities to expand their operations and exploit the increased demand for commercial sex. They often travel to host cities in advance, conducting extensive research and networking to identify new potential victims and establish connections with local criminal networks. They of course will also bring along with them, the victims that they currently exploit to satisfy the demand for prostitution. Keep in mind, the demand coming from sex buyers is also increasingly for younger victims. Therefore, it is a task that traffickers undertake in finding youth to exploit.


To learn more about these and many other dangers youth are facing as they are pursued by not only traffickers but also child predators, check out the Parents Guide to Having Difficult Conversations with Your Pre-teen & Teen.

Law enforcement response

Law enforcement agencies are keenly aware of the heightened risk of human trafficking during large events like the Super Bowl. As a result, they implement comprehensive strategies to target both sex buyers and traffickers. These operations typically involve undercover stings, surveillance, and intelligence gathering to identify and apprehend individuals involved in trafficking and exploitation. Additionally, law enforcement agencies collaborate with local organizations and advocacy groups to provide support and resources to trafficking survivors.

In 2023, law enforcement agencies intensified their efforts to combat human trafficking during the Super Bowl and other major events attended by men. According to statistics from the 2023 Super Bowl event and the other events occurring during the same time period, law enforcement conducted nearly 350 arrests during various sting operations targeting sex buyers and traffickers. These operations resulted in more than the numerous arrests, law enforcement rescued 5 juvenile and 1 adult trafficking victims, highlighting the effectiveness of proactive law enforcement strategies. These efforts underscore the commitment of law enforcement agencies to address the scourge of human trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation. The main point to be made aware of is that these operations although increase during the times of these events, law enforcement conducts these operations consistently outside of these events on a regular basis.

Evolution of human trafficking

Law enforcement knows about sex traffickers tactics and are aware of their strategies in adapting their tactics to evade detection. One notable trend is the shift towards using short-term rentals instead of traditional hotels. Traffickers are aware that law enforcement agencies often monitor hotels for signs of trafficking activity, such as excessive foot traffic, multiple occupants in a single room, or frequent turnover. By utilizing short-term rentals, traffickers think that they can operate more discreetly and avoid detection.

Awareness for the individuals who are in the short term rental space is critical and is available through visiting here.

In conclusion, the myth that the Super Bowl causes human trafficking oversimplifies a complex issue and distracts from the broader realities of sex trafficking. While large events may create opportunities for traffickers to exploit vulnerable individuals, they are not the sole cause of trafficking. By understanding how traffickers operate, how law enforcement responds, and the evolving tactics used by traffickers, we can work towards effectively combating human trafficking and supporting survivors.

Make sure you visit here to enroll in the Power of Awareness online course so you can learn all about Human Trafficking education and prevention.

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Heidi Chance Brainz Magazine

Heidi Chance, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi Chance, a 25-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, dedicated her career to combatting sex trafficking, notably serving 13 years in the H.E.A.T (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Unit. As an expert in forensic child interviews, abuse identification, online child protection, and undercover operations, she's a sought-after speaker, addressing law enforcement and many conferences. Heidi is featured in the PBS documentary "Sex Trafficking in America" and now uses her platform at to raise public awareness and provide training and consulting services to law enforcement, contributing to the fight against sex trafficking.



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