Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking

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Super Bowl 49 will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium February 1, and like all Super Bowls, it brings a focus on domestic violence and human trafficking. Allie Bones, chief executive officer of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and Phoenix vice mayor Jim Waring, will discuss the problems of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Ted Simons: Super Bowl 49 will be played February 1st in glendale. Two non sport issues that seem to follow the Super Bowl are domestic violence and human trafficking. For more on this, we welcome Allie Bones, CEO of the Arizona coalition to end sexual and domestic violence, and Phoenix vice Mayor Jim Waring. Good to have you both here.

Jim Waring: Thanks for having us.

Ted Simons: The Super Bowl, I have heard this described, the single largest human trafficking event in the United States? Is this true?

Allie Bones: Well, there is a lot of debate about that, but know the vice Mayor has more information about that.

Ted Simons: But I am asking you, is it a problem?

Allie Bones: Human trafficking is a huge problem all across this country, and in the world. And absolutely, it's something that we need to do more about, and it's not just during the Super Bowl, but during the Super Bowl, definitely there are more people here, more opportunities, and there is lots of money. And so, it's something that we need to make sure that we're paying attention to.

Ted Simons: Define human trafficking and how it differs, if it does, for prostitution.

Allie Bones: Human trafficking involves the elements of force, fraud, or coercion where the person is brought into the profession outside of their own will. There is no there is a lot of abuse. There is a lot of violence. There is where the person who is doing the acts, are not paid, or they have to hand over their money, so there is a lot of elements to it that take out any element of choice or free will.

Ted Simons: And the idea that the Super Bowl is the largest event in the U.S., regarding this type of activity, is that true, and what does the data show?

Jim Waring: I don't believe the data has shown that. I believe that there was a study last year in New York that did indicate that, but what I would tell the viewers is this it's a seconds largest organized criminal enterprise in the world. I think that most viewers are probably predicting drug trafficking number one, but I would have thought guns, gambling, something like that. And you are talking worldwide, I think it's 26 million people. In the United States they are saying 50,000. To Allie's point about who gets into this, this isn't choice. The average age for enter, and I hate to say life, but for lack of a better word, life, 13 or 14 years old. These are kids. We have had testimony at our somebody committee, is he City of Phoenix, happy to be appointed chair by Mayor Stanton, I appreciate his efforts on this issue. We heard from people who gave horrific stories that you or I would just be devastated beyond belief if it happened to us. We're adults, and they said remember, we were 14 when this was happening. It's appalling, and we're trying to do everything we can to put a stop to it here in Arizona

Ted Simons: So if the evidence isn't necessarily show

Jim Waring: This is a day-to-day activity, is my point.

Ted Simons: And I think the Super Bowl would offer an opportunity to get that kind of information out, if nothing else.

Jim Waring: Human trafficking tends to travel with big events. Tends to travel to places with tourism events and conventions, not just a Super Bowl, lots of other big events. We are a tourism-based economy, have access to the border, and we have good transportation, and things that, frankly, most people would think of as good thing and why they moved to Arizona. Unfortunately, this is one negative unintended consequence and we want to stamp it out.

Ted Simons: How do you stamp it out? Super Bowl or otherwise?

Allie Bones: Well, you have to have awareness about it, and make sure that folks know how to access resources. We need to make sure that there are policies in place that ensure that those who are soliciting sex, especially from minors, are properly held accountable, so that there are disincentives for people to participate in human trafficking.

Ted Simons: Have we seen an increase in those disincentives? Have the policies changed over the years?

Allie Bones: There have been significant changes. The legislature has made changes, and I know the city recently passed a change today, so there is

Jim Waring: An hour ago.

Allie Bones: An hour ago.

Jim Waring: About as recent as you can get.

Ted Simons: We have breaking news. What happened?

Jim Waring: We are trying to make it. I was appalled to find, if you get arrested at a prostitution sting, and that's usually where people get arrested, we are only arresting about 130 Johns a year, so the people I hate to use procuring, but for lack of a better word, procuring these services from underage women. Disgusting. Those people are losing their car for 30 days, but they were not usually going through the booking process down at county so for shows like the wire, hill street blues or something like that, the grim confines of a county jail, that's what we're talking about here. These people were getting a criminal cite and being released. That's not acceptable. We passed it with the emergency clause there afternoon, so you will now get the full boat experience of being fingerprinted, run through the system, sitting with others committing awful crimes. If you have taken a tour down there, one thing they tell you, wash your hands. They are continually telling you that. It's a grimy place, you don't want to go. When we catch people a lot of times they are not criminals in other walks of life. Not bank robbers or drug dealers. They are accountants or cpas or lawyers. It's frustrating. We'll try to make it as unpleasant as possible so you will never be a repeat offender.

Ted Simons: Regarding the Super Bowl's impact on these activities. Some folks say it's a waste of law enforcement resources if the numbers the data, the empirical evidence is not showing a huge increase, all of a sudden we patrol bars and areas, it may not be the best use of resources. How would you respond to that?

Allie Bones: We need to do this all the time. I think that it's not like the councilman said, not just during the Super Bowl. We need to make sure that we are patrolling these areas and making sure that any criminal activity or suspect activity is looked at on a regular basis, one of the projects has been around training hotel employees to be able to recognize when something just doesn't look right, you can kind of see, you know, an older man coming in with a young girl who may be is dressed a certain way, there is indication that something is not right and you should call the authorities.

Ted Simons: We'll stop it there, good information and good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

Allie Bones: Thank you.

Allie Bones:Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence; Jim Waring:Vice Mayor, Phoenix;

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