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This past weekend millions of people gathered to watch one of the most anticipated events of the year, The Super Bowl and with a score of 43 to 8 Seattle took the trophy home. However, there is a sad hidden dark side to the Super Bowl. While millions anxiously watch two teams go head to head for about three hours, thousands of women and girls are robbed of their freedom. Many have dismissed this as a theory or simply just a myth, but the link bewteen human trafficking and the Super Bowl is all too real.

According to The Interfaith Center On Corporate Responsibility estimates indicate that 27 million victims fall prey to trafficking and slavery each year and that it is a global trade valued at $32 billion dollars. In the U.S. the number of victims dramatically increase on dates closer to the Super Bowl weekend,  as the increase of demand must be met.

Human trafficking victims are not only deprived of their freedom and dignity, but also constantly abused physically, verbally and mentally as a tactic to keep them from leaving the force.

This correlation prompted the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to release this PSA before hosting the game last Sunday.

February 8:  National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking:

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration designatedFebruary 8 as an annual day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking.February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering….You are invited to pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing, and make a personal commitment to work against human trafficking.”