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Human Trafficking

Intercept the Traffickers


Super Bowl XLVIII

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On Feb. 2, 2014, many in America will watch Super Bowl XLVIII, the largest sporting event in the United States. The Super Bowl will be held this year at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Big sporting or entertainment events are not proven to cause human trafficking, but such events intensify the space in which such crimes can occur.


Thousands will travel to New Jersey to take part in Super Bowl festivities. Among the travelers will be those who arrive in New Jersey by force, fraud or coercion — they will not be there freely but as victims of human trafficking. As the Super Bowl ranks second only to Thanksgiving as the day in which Americans consume the most food, some of those who are trafficked will serve food in restaurants or at catered parties. Others will clean hotel rooms or wash dishes; some will tidy nail salons, deliver dry cleaning or wash windows; and others will be trafficked as sex workers, working as “escorts” or in men-only clubs.

You can act to intercept the traffickers.

Intercept the Traffickers Photo Campaign

In the language of football, we want to “ice” — or freeze —  trafficking and prevent traffickers from accomplishing their goals. We want a warm, just world in which all thrive. We must intercept trafficking.

United Methodist Women members are called to listen to the mandate of our faith to help the vulnerable. Even if you aren’t traveling to East Rutherford this Super Bowl season, you too can freeze human trafficking. Read this letter from the Iowa Attorney General's office, thanking local United Methodist Women groups for their efforts to stop human trafficking.

Between now and Feb. 2, 2014, take a picture of your United Methodist Women’s group holding a sign that says “Freeze! United Methodist Women is Intercepting Human Trafficking.” Do this in a “freezing” place—out in the snow, in the freezer section of the grocery store, holding ice cubes, standing by a freezer or ice machine. Be creative (and safe)! The most important part is to hold your sign and raise awareness that human trafficking exists and must be stopped.

Send your pictures to your conference communicators to share on conference websites and in newsletters. Post them on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to tag United Methodist Women. Or you can e-mail your digital photos to the United Methodist Women Flickr account, and send your captions to webadmin@unitedmethodistwomen.org. Stay tuned to the national website for more news. Sharing these photos will be a great way to show how we intercept human trafficking.

You can mail your physical photos to:

Intercept the Traffickers Photos
c/o Tara Barnes
United Methodist Women
475 Riverside Drive, room 1504
New York, NY 10115

Raise Awareness

As in previous years, the national office will be providing bulletin inserts, fliers and postcards for you to distribute this Super Bowl season that offer information on human trafficking and how regular folks can take steps in their own lives to help end it. Use our Human Trafficking Resource Guide (PDF) to help you convene a community or church conversation on human trafficking.

We are asking all local, district and conference United Methodist Women members to stand united to eliminate human trafficking around the world by supporting our campaign to Intercept the Traffickers. It is putting our faith, hope and love into action. Let’s prevent trafficking, protect and those who are vulnerable and prosecute those who commit this crime.

For further information, contact United Methodist Women Executive for Public Policy Susie Johnson: 202-488-5660 or CSADC@unitedmethodistwomen.org.  

Partner Organizations

United Methodist Women coordinates with secular as well as ecumenical partners to work against human trafficking.

Soroptomist NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking





Additional Partners

  • Yvette Richards, president of United Methodist Women
  • Grace Rapp, social action coordinator for the New Jersey Conference
  • Human trafficking team members Rachel Bachenberg, Meg Olive, Patricia Bell, Grace Pyen, Rosa Bernard, Carol Rieke, Dorothy Edmond, Helen Jo Satterwhite, Janice Elmore, Gloria Scott, Kim Jenkins, Rita Smith, Judy Kading, Lee Thornton, Brenda Lopez, Rosemary Uebel, Amanda Marshal, Tien Vo-Doan, Brenda Moland, Tara Wilson, and Anna Noble
  • Members Delores Carhee and Tonya Murphy
  • Marilyn Powell, president of Greater New Jersey Conference United Methodist Women
  • Susan Kim, president of New York Conference United Methodist Women
  • Patricia Briggs, president of Upper New York United Methodist Women
  • Congressman the Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver II, Missouri’s 5th District
  • Former Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, pastor, St. James United Methodist Church, Kansas City, Ks.
  • Martin D. McLee, bishop of the New York Annual Conference
  • John R. Schol, bishop of the New Jersey Annual Conference
  • Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kansas City, Ks.

A Letter of Thanks

The director of Iowa's Human Trafficking Enforcement and Prosecution Initiative writes a letter to express his gratitude for United Methodist Women's efforts to stop human trafficking.

Ms. Susie Johnson, UMW Executive for Public Policy

Ms. Johnson:

I wanted to take a moment to bring to your attention the wonderful work of the United Methodist Women groups of Windsor Heights, Iowa and Des Moines, Iowa in the fight against Human Trafficking.

As the Director of the Iowa Department of Justice Human Trafficking Enforcement and Prosecution Initiative (HTEPI), I can say that the interest, concern and action of these organizations has been nothing less than inspiring to me and my colleagues. They have embraced the plight of the victims of this crime as their own and show no limit to the depth of their compassion and humanity for them.

Thank you for your leadership, and I extend my true appreciation to the United Methodist Women and the Church for all of the support they have given and continue to give each day.

Thank you,


Michael J. Ferjak, M.A.
Senior Criminal Investigator
Iowa Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General

- Director - Iowa Department of Justice Human Trafficking Enforcement and Prosecution Initiative (HTEPI)
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation - Specialized Crimes Unit (SCU) / Human Trafficking Squad
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation - Cyber-Crime Unit (CCU) / Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force WWW.IAICAC.ORG

Last Updated: 04/07/2014

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