Trapped in Modern-Day Slavery
“I am a victim of the sex-trafficking industry. I was trafficked for more than a decade in Minneapolis, Hawaii and Las Vegas,” said Annie Lobert, a sex-trafficking survivor. “Based on my experience I can tell you that the Super Bowl is just another weekend for the hundreds of thousands of sex-trafficking victims in the United States.”
For Annie, whether it was Super Bowl weekend in early-February, or any other of the 51 weekends a year, her life as a sex trafficked call girl was one of modern-day slavery.
“The escort agency I worked for expected me to go on as many calls as I could fit into a 12-hour period, from 8pm-8am. I would see between 10-30 different men a night. It didn’t matter how tired I was or how much money I made, I had to be loyal my entire shift for the entire weekend, or face a fine of $1,500. When I finally got home, as soon as I walked in the door, my pimp took 100% of my earnings,” said Annie. (Read Annie’s full interview and watch her full story. )
Super Run 5k Launches to Combat Sex Trafficking
A newly-launched Super Run 5k walk/run in Minneapolis is responding to the harsh reality of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation that is happening on our streets EVERY DAY. Law enforcement is preparing to see a surge in sex trafficking coming to our city on Super Bowl weekend 2018.
“The trafficking of people is a horrendous global issue that has victims in every part of our society but especially preys on the poor. Sadly, one of the biggest events we celebrate culturally, the Super Bowl, is a thriving event utilized by traffickers,” said Pastor Scott Woller, lead pastor of Corner Church, and lead organizer of the Super Run 2017 and 2018.
The Off the Streets SUPER RUN was created to address human trafficking in our beloved Twin Cities, led by a group of churches, ministries, organizations and businesses. It is planned for the Saturday before Super Bowl LI in 2017 and Super Bowl LII in 2018, to be held at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
“This is a cause with a run, existing to raise actionable awareness and money to go toward organizations and people who are on the ground making a difference,” said Pastor Woller.
The Super Run 5k will be run around Target Field’s concourse on Saturday, February 4, 2017 and Saturday, February 3, 2018 with 100% of the proceeds going toward fighting human trafficking among youth in our city.
“We want to do something that builds traction all year long. We want to have multiple events, and things going on the weekend of the Super Bowl while it’s in Minneapolis, and even the month before, so we’ve got to do something now in February 2017,” said Pastor Woller.
Paul Hurckman, Executive Director of Venture Expeditions encouraged all local stakeholders to get involved in stopping sex trafficking in our city.
“You don’t have to figure out if this fits within your church/organization/businesses’ core values. If you’re in this city, if you’re in the Twin Cities, this matters. It fits within the humanity of ‘we live here,’” said Hurckman.
“Not in My City”
The FBI has identified the Twin Cities as one of the nation’s 13 largest centers for child prostitution. The typical age of entry for sex exploitation is between 12-14 years old, and often leads young boys and girls to get trapped in sex trafficking for decades, which is what happened to Sarah.
“When I was 11, one of my friends that I hung out with a lot was having sex and stuff with men due to some of her own family members pimping her out to them. Without realizing what I was getting into I was right there with her. From then on I was in the life,” said Sarah, a survivor who got out through the help of The Link MN. (Read more of Sarah’s story.)
“Not only do we not want it to happen when the Super Bowl comes here, we don’t want it to happen at all,” said Kaisha Tracy, an organizer of the Super Run.
All race funds will go to local organizations making a difference in our city who work to help young girls and boys caught in sex trafficking all year long, including The Link in Minneapolis, Source Anti-Trafficking in Minneapolis and Breaking Free in St. Paul.
Join in on February 4, 2017 (the day before the Super Bowl) in saying, “NOT IN MY CITY.”
Register here for the run.
Find out more at offthestreets5k.com.
Donations can be made here.
Be sure to Like the Super Run’s Facebook Page.