MINNEAPOLIS - The voices in a new ad proclaiming, "I am not alone. I am worthy of respect," are local girls who are getting help after falling victim to sex trafficking.
"Yes, it is a really bad problem," says Beth Holger-Ambrose, executive director of the Link, a nonprofit that helps homeless youth and victims of sex trafficking.
"What our group is doing is really trying to beef up our street outreach and emergency shelter beds and drop-in center hours during the 10 days of the Super Bowl," she said.
Holger-Ambrose is part of the Super Bowl Host Committee's anti-sex trafficking subcommittee.
They're also aiming to raise awareness of the problem.
"The Link serves between 80 and 95 minor victims of sex trafficking a year," Holger-Ambrose said.
That's 80 to 95 children under 18 who are bought and sold for sex in the Twin Cities each year.
Even so, local agencies are putting $2.5 million into enforcement and public service campaigns like these because of the attention the Super Bowl brings.
"It's a great way to raise awareness and reach an audience that no nonprofit or law enforcement agency or anything like that normally has access to," Holger-Ambrose said.
So the Link just released an ad aimed at reaching victims, while Duluth-based "Men as Peacemakers" just started running two more ads aimed at making men think twice about paying for sex.