Anti-sex trafficking push begins ahead of Super Bowl

Ads and billboards are rolling out across the Twin Cities, talking about the issue of sex trafficking. It's part of the effort to raise awareness about the issue leading up to the Super Bowl.

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.

Yet, KARE 11 recently verified that claims that sex trafficking is rampant during the Super Bowl are overstated.

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.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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