TAMPA, Fla — Monday is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and one group is using Super Bowl LV in Tampa as an educational opportunity.
"It’s A Penalty" is launching its ninth global campaign to educate people about how to spot -- and how to report -- human trafficking. It's an especially serious issue in our area. According to Polaris, Florida has the third-highest rate of human trafficking cases reported, and Tampa has the 12th-highest rate of calls per capita made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
It's A Penalty has already started working to prevent human trafficking ahead of Super Bowl LV. Last week, the organization unveiled digital screens, signage and an art installation at Tampa International Airport.
The Super Bowl is known to be a draw for human traffickers. Last year, CBS Miami reported multiple arrests in sting operations conducted during the week of Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.
The NFL Foundation, Hilton Worldwide and Rescue:Freedom International are among the organizations joining with It's A Penalty for this anti-trafficking campaign, along with a group of local partners.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking there is help. The National Human Trafficking Hotline operates a 24-hour hotline and can be reached by phone at 1-888-373-7888, by texting HELP to BeFree (233733), or by chat to talk about your needs, your options, and the resources they have available to help you.
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