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The Super Bowl is one of America's largest sporting events, and also one of the largest sex-trafficking events. Thousands of girls, many under-aged, will be brought to Indiana for the game on Feb. 5, 2012. Theresa Flores, founder of Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P) says that major sporting events like the Super Bowl generally have more men in attendance who are visiting from a different city, and often do things they wouldn't normally do at home. This creates a demand that "traffickers and pimps are there willing and waiting to supply," she said. Because of this, about 150 volunteers for S.O.A.P. are heading to Indiana before the event to pass out soap at Indianapolis motels. The group travels to high demand sports events that bring in lots of people (mostly men) to an area, such as Super Bowls, PGA tournaments, Kentucky Derby, Basketball playoffs, Indy 500, World Series, Hall of Fame week, etc.
Ms. Flores recalls that on her worse night, being auctioned off to nearly two dozen men in a dingy, dirty, inner city motel, the only item that would have reached out to her would have been a bar of soap to clean up.
A study estimated that more than 300,000 children in the US are victimized by commercial sexual exploitation. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami saw 10,000 prostitutes brought in to the city. In Dallas last year, 133 people were arrested due to prostitution. Theresa Flores a survivor of sexual exploitation; founded S.O.A.P. : Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. SOAP is an outreach program that aims to distribute thousands of bars of soap with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number and key identifying questions FREE to local motels. Volunteers talk to motel owners and managers and provide them with a quick overview of what is happening to young girls in their hotels.
For additional articles about the Super Bowl efforts: