January 27, 2014
On January 25th and 26th, volunteers from across New Jersey – including from the Community Foundation – came together in Bergen County to learn more about human trafficking (click here for more on this important issue) and its expected spike during this weekend’s Super Bowl, and then set out to do something about it.
Here’s how the Bergen Record described the two-day event (click here for the full article).
[Theresa] Flores, [a victim of forced prositution], is now acting as the “angel” for other victims of human trafficking, and brought her non-profit, Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, or SOAP, to North Jersey this weekend, in advance of the Super Bowl in East Rutherford. It’s a rescue mission. On Saturday and Sunday combined, roughly 450 local volunteers visited about 250 area hotels to drop off information and posters about missing children and human trafficking, as well as thousands of bars of soap.Those soap bars have wrappers with the phone number of the National Human Trafficking hotline, and carry a message aimed at young women trapped into prostitution: “Are you being forced to do anything you do not want to do?”
SOAP and other human rights groups, anticipate that many young women — some of them victims of trafficking — will be brought to North Jersey to sexually service the many visitors who will be in the area for the big game at MetLife Stadium. This is the fourth Super Bowl that Flores’ group has come to.
Flores, who has written a book about her experiences, “The Slave Across the Street,” traveled to New Jersey from Ohio with her own group of 40 people. The trip was sponsored by the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Doma International and Be Free Dayton, and was underwritten by a $13,000 grant from the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Be sure to check out the video coverage from News 12 as well: