One of the biggest sporting events in the world is headed for Cowboys Stadium. Super Bowl XLV will bring thousands of people to North Texas, but not everyone that’s coming is interested in football.
“There are going to be pimps here from Hawaii and New York that have clout,” said Tekla. “They look like businessmen, but they are pimps. They will be bringing girls from all over the country here. Girls from the ages of 13 to adult women.”
She’s talking about prostitution and fears many of these women will be brought to North Texas against their will and then left behind once the game is over.
“DFW will be flooded with broken women and lost little girls,” said Tekla.
When the Super Bowl is over, the party will end, spectators will leave, and life will resume to normal. But people won’t be thinking about the exploitation of women that continues in North Texas. And some of these girls believe that there is no other way of life.
“Sex exploitation is the human rights issue of our time,” said Katie Pedigo. “It is a modern day form of slavery.”
Katie Pedigo is the Executive Director of New Friends New Life, an organization that helps over three hundred women a year escape the sex industry. She estimates over fifteen thousand prostitutes will be brought to North Texas for the Super Bowl, and New Friends New Life is prepared to help them.
“The goal of the organization is to help women and their children as they seek to escape the degradation of the sex industry,” said Pedigo. “We do that by offering education, employment, life skills and counseling.”
Tekla, a graduate of the program, says New Friends New Life didn’t just tell her she could make a change, they showed her how and gave her the strength to get there.
“They came in a helped me with my rent, my car payment, my utilities and absolutely everything,” said Tekla. “I don’t know how I would have survived. They assisted me until I was able to take care of myself.”
Although many of the women that seek help from New Friends New Life come from very different backgrounds, most of them have one thing in common.
“Most of the times what we see that has happened is some type of traumatic experience,” said New Friends New Life Advocate Irie Session. “Some type of abuse. Some type of incident that caused them to devalue their own worth and that usually causes a woman to be vulnerable.”
Tekla says she is thankful people like Pedigo dedicate their lives to helping women understand they can escape the sex industry and live a different life.
“I truly believe that if I had heard somebody tell me there was another way that I probably would have chosen to seek another way,” said Tekla.
New Friends New Life is ready to help the women and girls brought to the Super Bowl, and the ones that are left behind to fend for themselves. But Pedigo says they can’t do it alone.
“We need men to say I’m not buying it,” said Pedigo.
New Friends New Life plans to expand across the country to help as many women and girls as they can who are being sexually exploited.
Watch video in HD above produced by DFW Reporting!
See all of journalist Angela Hamann’s videos:
Join the official DFW Reporting Facebook page:
Follow the official DFW Reporting Twitter page:
Leave your comment on this video in the comments section below!