Indianapolis – August 15, 2021 – Ahead of the 2021 NFL season, five nonprofit organizations have convened an alliance to combat the sexual abuse and exploitation of children – a global crisis widely believed to worsen leading up to and during major sporting and entertainment events. The alliance aims to educate the public on the perennial nature and warning signs of human trafficking, empower them to report suspicious activity, and provide resources to victims and those most vulnerable to exploitation.
The U.S Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) is joined in the new coalition, the Alliance Against Human Trafficking & Exploitation, by anti-abuse nonprofits kNot Today, It’s a Penalty, A21, and Inner City Visions. Early supporters include the NFL and the Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee.
“As professional athletes and coaches we have an opportunity to leave a lasting impact in our communities that extends beyond the field,” said Frank Reich, Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts and founder of the kNot Today foundation. “To me, nothing is more horrific than the abuse and exploitation of children for the gain of those who should be protecting them. This Alliance brings together the influence, experience and resources that can drive massive change. And with the support of the NFL, we have a platform to reach every corner of the nation and save lives.”
Though human trafficking and other forms of exploitation are believed to intensify surrounding major events, experts note that the crisis exists year-round in communities nationwide.
More than 100,000 children are sold into sexual slavery in the U.S. each year, according to ECPAT-USA. Despite the global nature of the challenge, an estimated 83 percent of these victims are U.S. citizens, U.S. Department of Justice figures show.
“If a campaign like this existed to help educate others when I was being trafficked as a teen, it would have prevented me from being trafficked in the first place,” said Kat Rosenblatt, a human-trafficking survivor and activist.
The launch of the alliance was announced Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium during a Week 1 NFL preseason matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers. Colts Head Coach Frank Reich and his wife, Linda Reich, founded kNot Today, an organization that creates awareness and supports prevention initiatives.
During halftime, fans in attendance were shown a public service announcement featuring Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers, Matt Rhule alongside Frank Reich, Colts Quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro Defensive Tackle DeForest Buckner. kNot Today has also garnered public support on this issue from Colts legend Peyton Manning, former Head Coach Tony Dungy, defensive end Justin Houston and others. To view the kNot Today PSA video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Given the breadth of the challenge, the Alliance intends to continue through the NFL season and beyond with the goal of empowering more people to take action and make a report if they see signs of human trafficking.
Anyone who suspects they’ve encountered human trafficking or exploitation are encouraged to text “help” to 233733 or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to make a report.
About kNot Today
The kNot Today Foundation was created in 2019 by Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts Frank Reich and his wife Linda to generate awareness, create prevention strategies and help develop innovative healing programs for sexually abused and exploited children. For more information, please visit knottoday.org or text ‘KNOT’ to 55433. Follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @kNotToday.
About It’s a Penalty
It’s a Penalty is a global nonprofit harnessing the power of sport to prevent abuse, exploitation and trafficking worldwide. We believe that prevention is better than cure. To achieve this change, we work with some of the biggest names in sport, sporting governing bodies, airlines, hotels, local and international NGO’s, governments, travel & tourism industry, law enforcement and the general public.
A21 is a global nonprofit organization determined to eradicate human trafficking through awareness, intervention, and aftercare. Currently operating in 18 locations across 13 countries, A21 aims to combat modern-day slavery through a multi-dimensional operational strategy: Reach, Rescue, and Restore. Through partnerships and the efforts of supporters all over the globe, A21 truly believes that a multitude of victims can be identified and assisted, and perpetrators can be brought to justice.
About Inner City Visions
Inner city Visions is a grassroots, community-born organization that catalyzes growth of agency and self-determination within the community through family based trauma-prevention and intervention. Inner City Visions was created in response to the growing threat of gang violence and human trafficking in South Central Los Angeles. In 2021 Inner city Visions was awarded “California non profit organization of the year” by the California State Legislature. .www.innercityvisions.org