Minneapolis, Minn., Jan 25, 2018 / 00:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Super Bowl LII, a matchup between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, will be played Feb. 4 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. As the game approaches, victim advocates warn about a darker side to major sporting events: human trafficking.
At least one group is on a mission to help.
In Our Backyard is an Oregon-based nonprofit that works to provide “pathways to freedom” for the victims of human trafficking.
Before the Super Bowl, the group will distribute “Freedom Stickers,” and encourage Minnesotans to place them in public restrooms. The stickers, which are printed in English and Spanish, contain the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline and encourage women who are in an unsafe situation to call or text the number for assistance.
Nita Belles, the executive director of In Our Backyard, told CNA that the idea for the stickers came from her long-time work with domestic violence survivors. She said she realized that one of the only times a woman is alone is when she’s in a bathroom stall. Belles began placing “shoe cards” in restroom stalls--small cards with a hotline number, which could be hidden in a shoe.