I’m not sure what to think about the 2013 Super Bowl. I assumed I would watch it for the football, coaches’ sibling rivalry stories, and some funny commercials. But it affected me in a much more impactful way. Almost two weeks later, I’m still mulling it over in my mind.

The week prior to the Super Bowl airing, I discovered an alarming statistic. The Attorney General says that the Super Bowl is the single-largest human trafficking incident in the United States. What? More children are trafficked for sex that day than any other in the U.S. How can that be real? I still feel sick even thinking about it.

The statistics are worse than I had first thought. Each year, nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade, according to UNICEF. In his book Disposable People, author Kevin Bales claims that 27 million men, women, and children are held as slaves. According to International Justice Mission, “Trafficking in humans generates profits in excess of 32 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage” ( www.ijm.org).
These are not statistics from hundreds of years ago – they are current in 2013. How can this be? And how can a game that is supposed to be about football and stupid commercials draw so much of this perversion?

With these thoughts running through my brain, I began to watch the halftime show. Beyonce is a beautiful woman and a talented performer, but I could hardly watch. Her seductive dancing and body language could only make me wonder what the thousands of children and other sex slaves had to endure during or because of it. I wanted to throw up. I know it’s not Beyonce’s fault that people are enslaved. Our society has programmed us to be okay with displays like hers. But the problem continues to grow.

And then I saw the Facebook statuses of some of my friends: “Best halftime show ever,” “Beyonce is really rocking this show.” These aren’t statuses of bad people; they are those of friends whom I admire. It made me question if I was being too judgmental. Could it be possible that I was making too much out of the human trafficking news? Yet how could I separate it out?

I don’t understand how these kinds of atrocities are able to occur in the 21st Century in our world, let alone the supposedly-civilized United States of America. And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it. I mean, how can one person make a difference, right? Well, I just told you about it, so I guess I’m spreading awareness. And I went onto the IJM website and added my name to the list to request that President Obama “Help make freedom real” with his influence. And I said a prayer for the victims (I can’t even fathom the millions). And I’ve discovered several worthy organizations that are helping victims and former victims, to which even a small financial contribution would be beneficial.

I can’t rescue and protect them all. I can’t make it all go away. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. We can all do something.