This past Sunday, over 111 million TV viewers tuned into Super Bowl 50 to see the Denver Broncos trounce the Carolina Panthers, enjoy a performance from the music industry's finest, and indulge in pizza, beer, and nachos.
Unfortunately, the Super Bowl has a far darker, more sinister side. One former victim of sex trafficking is now sharing her thoughts on the idea that in addition to being the most watched professional football game in the country, the Super Bowl is the largest event for human trafficking.
According to an exclusive on FOX News, Annie Lobert, founder of Hookers for Jesus, writes that for more than a decade, she worked as a high-class escort and was trafficked to Minneapolis, Hawaii, and Las Vegas. The escort agency above her expected Lobert to take as many calls possible within a twelve-hour shift from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the following day. A typical shift averaged twenty different men.
While failure to keep up with shifts resulted in a $1,500 fine, Lobert's pimp took 100 percent of her earnings once she finished for the night.
"When you live in fear of the next beat-down (I was physically beaten more times than I can count by my pimp and by tricks), this is what you must do to survive," she writes. "Pretend you are someone else. When I began my time as a prostitute, I chose the name 'Fallen' for my fake ID. I was no longer the Annie I knew and recognized; I was 'Fallen'-a victim of high-class sex trafficking."
Lobert was eventually able to leave her pimp, recovered from a serious drug addiction, and became a new person in Jesus Christ.
In a 2015 "I Am Second" video, Lobert revealed that as God began to heal her from her past, the Holy Spirit testified to her spirit that she was beautiful, chosen, and set apart for Him.
"I started to stand on Jesus' words - that I'm whole, that I'm healed, that I'm pure. That I'm a virgin in Him. And that gives me peace," she said.
In continuing her Fox op-ed, Annie dismisses the idea that the Super Bowl is the busiest weekend for trafficked high-class escorts even though she admits Vegas is a mecca for sports betting and conventions.
"But to be honest, it wasn't my busiest weekend for money and tricks. In a town with more than 39 million visitors annually, any given weekend we were kept busy 24/7, 365 days a year, filling our pimps' pockets," she writes.
She shares statistics revealing that sex trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry in the United States alone, victimizing between 300,000 to 400,000 American children every year, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In addition, the International Labor Organization estimates that 4.5 million people are trapped in forced exploitation.
Annie concludes by explaining that wherever there are Smartphones, computers, strip clubs, or massage parlors, there is sex being sold to those who ask for it. In turn, if sex is sold, sex trafficking recieves a significant boost.
Instead of simply waiting for the next Super Bowl "awareness campaign," Annie asks people to become more proactive in fighting against sex trafficking.
"The best sermon preached is one without words," she writes. "Promises to love without putting those words into action are just empty proposals. It's not tangible until it is actually seen. Love is action. If we were a people of action instead of awareness, we could put an end to sex trafficking."
Lobert is now married to Oz Fox, the lead guitarist of Stryper. She felt lead to go back to the strip where she used to prostitute herself and tell the girls that are in slavery there that God loves them.
"That's what I'm called to do," says Lobert - "To simply tell them, 'God loves you. No matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, no matter how deep [or] how dirty you feel. That there's redemption. You are white as snow if you accept Him into your heart.'"
You can learn more at the non-profit organization Lobert founded, Hookers for Jesus. There is more information at their official website that addresses the harmful effects of prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry.