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Are you visiting the New York metro area for Super Bowl weekend this year? If you are, great. But you may want to pump the breaks if you’re planning on having some illegal extracurricular fun while you’re in town.
According to the Associated Press, area law enforcement officials will be stepping up their anti-prostitution efforts during the biggest NFL weekend of the season. Remember, folks: this is The City That Never Sleeps, not Sin City. If you want prostitution, head to Las Vegas (it’s legal there).
As the AP states, officials are worried that New York’s highway system, diverse population, and the influx of visitors could end up increasing sex trafficking numbers for those interested in doing a little more than watching football on February 2.
In all seriousness, though, sex trafficking is a major issue. Unfortunately, it’s a crime that often goes unreported. Whenever a city––particularly one like NYC––sees an increase in the number of visitors, there will always be a risk.
"When you're about ready to have 400,000 men come to this area of the country, you're invariably going to have more people try to take advantage of that by providing prostitutes and prostitution," said Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli.
"The Super Bowl is a huge, huge arena for sex trafficking," added Danielle Douglas, an advocate who identifies herself as a sex trafficking survivor. Some visitors "are coming to the Super Bowl not even to watch football -- they are coming to the Super Bowl to have sex with women, and/or men or children."
While others have argued if the huge increase in trafficking numbers actually does take place on Super Bowl weekend, experts say that that misses the overall point: prostitution is something that goes on year-round, throughout the world. New Jersey is certainly trying to do something about it. After the league announced that MetLife stadium would play host to this year’s game, state officials began setting up centers that will help train people to spot sex trafficking and, hopefully stop it. Of course, I am sure this won’t be the only issue being highly scrutinized over the weekend––look out, anyone who decides to drop the F-bomb on national TV––so it would be best for all lawbreakers at the Super Bowl to just stop breaking the law.