Linking Freedom In Our Backyard
Reserve your spot to volunteer for our Super Bowl Outreach in Atlanta, GA on January 26th, 2019!
In connection with our year-round anti-trafficking work, IN OUR BACKYARD (IOB) conducts a 10-day operation to eradicate sex trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl through partnerships with top law enforcement, nonprofits and government agencies in host cities across America. Our involvement surrounding the Super Bowl is an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and mobilize regular citizens to fight this atrocity year round. This operation began in 2010 and has continued in every Super Bowl host city for nine consecutive years.
To view our 2018 Super Bowl report Click Here
To create a pathway of FREEDOM for those trapped in human trafficking.
The goal of the cooperative efforts is to bring attention to this atrocity and come alongside the host community as we take coordinated and effective action to stop human trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl and beyond. IOB recognizes geography, climate, politics, culture, socioeconomic, gender, and racial factors have implications on how we collaboratively address human trafficking. IOB has recently named this initiative, Linking Freedom In Our Backyard, reflecting our core values of sustainability and collaboration that always result in increased, ongoing anti-trafficking efforts after we have departed. IOB objectives for this program are to:
Bring nine years of expertise to the host community about what “normally” happens regarding human trafficking at large events, dispel myths, and share best practices from previous years
Reach out to and aid in recovery of victims of human trafficking through safe and coordinated efforts with law enforcement, government agencies, and reputable service providers
Train and mobilize the business community, with particular emphasis on convenience stores in conjunction with IOB’s Convenience Stores Against Trafficking program, to recognize and safely report missing and endangered children and potential trafficking situations
Conduct a community-wide outreach event, distributing Freedom Stickers and Missing Children Booklets, to raise public awareness of human trafficking and empower individuals to take well-informed, safe and meaningful action to stop human trafficking
Raise awareness in the host city by offering speakers for events who have extensive experience both in anti-human trafficking efforts and how those efforts intersect with Super Bowl
Work to raise awareness of the truth about human trafficking through interviews and media coverage, both locally and nationwide
SUPER BOWL & HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Statements have been made that the Super Bowl is the largest human trafficking event. Some have also asserted that sex trafficking does not increase surrounding the Super Bowl. These are both myths. Human trafficking happens 365 days a year in every zip code in the United States and does increase surrounding large events. We do know the party atmosphere surrounding any large event such as a concert, convention, or sporting competition can lead to an increase in the purchase of adults and even children for sex. Traffickers may bring victims from out of town to satisfy the increase in demand from sex buyers. They also capitalize on the energy generated by the event to lure unsuspecting event-goers as new victims.
SUPER BOWL IN MINNESOTA
IOB’s ninth operation surrounding the Super Bowl represented the best of the collaborative work required to eradicate human trafficking. Words are not adequate to express our appreciation of the amazing partnerships and the life-saving work being done in Minnesota.
Click here to view our 2018 Super Bowl Report!
It was incredible to work so closely with the Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee in MN and many other partners surrounding Super Bowl. Erica Schumacher in Ramsey County Attorney’s office shared:
“We had our recap meeting this week with our committee and IN OUR BACKYARD was held up as THE BEST EXAMPLE of working with an outside group successfully.”
2018 VICTORIES & HIGHLIGHTS
15 missing and at-risk youth from IOB’s Missing Children’s Booklet RECOVERED! This is huge cause for celebration! Click here to view our digital book.
Please note: IOB has no way of knowing if our literature directly led to the recovery tips, but now these youth are safe!
1500 Freedom Stickers posted in convenience stores throughout the Twin Cities, providing a pathway to freedom for victims of human trafficking.
2500 Missing Children’s Books distributed across the Twin Cities metro, including:
600 Missing Children’s Booklets and human trafficking indicators distributed to UBER and Yellow cab drivers.
350 Missing Children’s Booklets and human trafficking indicators distributed to Super Bowl volunteers so they could keep their eyes open for potential victims.
750 Convenience Stores equipped with resources, including Missing Children’s Booklets to recognize and report missing children and victims of human trafficking.
- Reached out to and aid in recovery of victims of human trafficking through safe and coordinated efforts with law enforcement and reputable service providers. Provided 38 qualified leads to law enforcement, which led to some recoveries.
- Named as one of the three primary lead sources by Sgt. Grant Snyder in the press conference. Nominated for MN Police Department Chief’s Award of Merit!
More than 200 volunteers educated about human trafficking in Minnesota, surrounding large events and daily across the nation. Volunteers engaged to take well-informed and meaningful action through outreach to convenience stores.
What can YOU do?
- Become a Freedom Sticker Hero and create a pathway to FREEDOM for those being trafficked in YOUR community.
- Read In Our Backyard and learn more about Human Trafficking and what you can do to stop it.
- Call your local legislator and tell them that you want to stop HT from happening in your backyard. Click here.
- Put the National Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone 1-888-373-7888 and call them if you suspect human trafficking.
- Request a training or speaking engagement from our Executive Director, Nita Belles, in your town, job or sphere of influence.
- Sign up for our newsletter to get emails on news, activities and more!
- DONATE to partner with us in this fight.
- Become a Freedom Partner and give monthly to the fight.