Advocacy groups working to stop sex trafficking during Super Bowl weekend

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Sex trafficking tends to increase during the Super Bowl and this year is no exception, according to advocacy organizations.

Nita Belles is the director of anti-trafficking group In Our Backyard. They've been in Houston for weeks trying to run interference to save these victims.

"When you have a male-dominated kind of attendance, then you will have additional trafficking in coming in," she said.

Belle works with police to help counsel victims at trafficking investigation scenes, like one Thursday afternoon in southwest Houston.

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The Houston Police Department said its teams are busy with multiple ongoing busts and investigations involving sex trafficking similar to two that ABC13 has covered in recent days involving women who reported being forced here from out of state to have sex for cash.

It's a situation Belle said she hears daily.

"They get on that slippery slope and it's really, really difficult to bring them back," Belle said.

She said it's important to know that everyone - residents and visitors alike - can save these victims, if they're propositioned by someone to pay for sex or even if they see something concerning.

"If somebody's coming here for the Super Bowl sees something that doesn't feel right in there can't listen to that and say something," she said.

You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888)373-7888.

There's a social media push called Thunderclap to help spread awareness. Find out how to get involved here.
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