In the summer of 2016, a group of Minnesota community leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sector joined with local and federal law enforcement agencies to form an anti-trafficking group to address the issue of sex trafficking at this year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Although the group established practical goals of providing more outreach and emergency services to help victims, one of its primary objectives was to raise awareness about sex trafficking — and to educate the public that the problem exists not just at major sporting events but throughout the year in communities all around the country.
“We don’t want to blame the Super Bowl,” said Amanda Koonjbeharry, who works for Hennepin County, which encompasses Minneapolis, where Super Bowl LII will be played. “It’s not the game that is causing the issue. Sex trafficking is happening 365 days a year.”