Sex work and the Super Bowl. More specifically, or rather a certain type of sex work, trafficking became a buzzy topic volleyed around various media outlets as reports of sex slave-trade victims being brought in by the thousands to meet demand at the Super Bowl swirled. Soon responses emerged that refuted these stories, identifying them as dangerous myths that in fact worsen the situation of trafficked victims. One of the ways this happens is that law enforcement cracks down on the sex workers, without training or motivation to distinguish between the willing and the coerced or forced, ultimately concentrating consequence on the most marginalized and disadvantaged players.
To be clear we at PARC are ardent supporters of work done to help victims of trafficking and recognize that research and reports do not necessarily reveal the reality. Even if trafficking doesn't exist in the ways it has been portrayed in the media, it still claims more victims than is acceptable. Clearly what is needed is better understanding of how to deal with sex work and trafficking in ways that don't further endanger and harm the victims.