It is a widely reported fact that sex and child abusers are often attracted to large organisations. The Church and children's cares homes spring to mind but what about large sporting events?
Sunday in the USA was Super Bowl Sunday. This event is televised around the world. There are huge Super Bowl parties and it is a money making event, on a grand scale. The money spent on 'booze' and snack foods alone is enormous. Glitz, glamour and patriotic fervour on a grand scale.
Behind the razzamatazz though there is a sordid side to the event. At the heart of the dark side of Super Bowl Sunday is human trafficking.
The Huffington Post reports this allegation, which was made by the US Attorney General. One woman has also highlighted the shocking truth about this sporting event, the Super Bowl. 'Clemmie Greenlee, a former victim of sex trafficking from Nashville, recalled being brought to cities around the South to prostitute for those attending such large-scale events' in an interview with Nola.
The problem is not simply willing prostitution. 53-year-old Clemmie was abducted and gang raped when she was aged just 12. Kept a prisoner by 'pimps' she, and the other girls, were handcuffed and injected with heroin. Set a target of customers to have sex with, during an event such as the Super Bowl, there was no escape.
"If you don't make that number (of sex customers), you're going to dearly, dearly, severely pay for it. 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."
U.S. Department of Justice data shows that the average American prostitute begins working between the ages of 12 and 14. A shocking statistic and one that many Americans probably did not know.
New Orleans has a booming prostitute trade due to its status as a popular tourist attraction. Once a year as Super Bowl Sunday looms the girls and women involved face more horrors. In 2013 it was held in New Orleans. Efforts were made to help the females involved.
Clemmie is now part of the coordinated help available. She works at Eden House in Uptown New Orleans. This was the first shelter for sex-trafficking victims in Louisiana. It opened in October 2012.
The US authorities are working to tackle the huge problem of human trafficking. In 2006, the Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force, was created. It is a joint venture involving federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. There are faith-based and nongovernmental organizations included also.There aim is to capture, arrest and convict the human traffickers.
Super Bowl Sunday has now passed for another year. Along with the policing and security challenges of this event this year the authorities attempted a clamp down on human trafficking. Whether or not their efforts worked remains to be seen.
Previous statistically data showed that 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the Super Bowl in 2010 and 133 underage arrests for prostitution were made in Dallas during the 2011 Super Bowl.
A shameful side to the Super Bowl. One that must be addressed. You can argue that prostitution is the oldest 'trade' in the world but most of the sex here is forced and often underage. Do the men using these 'services' feel no guilt? After all it is no more than paid rape.
The way forward will have to be to demonise the paying customers and the pimps. Without either there is after all no trade.
The 'Land of the Free' has a long way to go to live up to its own hype.