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Local Law Enforcement and Child Advocates Receive Sex Trafficking Training

SAYRE, Pa. (18 NEWS)- - "Every day I was tortured on a daily basis by this man selling my photos, videos, and selling me and other children to people in the neighborhood and around the area," Jen Spry, a sex trafficking victim said. 

Spry became a victim of sex trafficking at just 8 years old. Lured into a neighbor's house with the promise of gifts and toys, she was attacked, threatened, and sold to other men in the neighborhood for two years. Her younger sister eventually fell victim to the crimes as well. Scared for their lives, the young girls kept quite. 

"Nobody recognized the signs, nobody saw the changes in our personality, or what we were doing, but the idea is that every day this was happening and we were all able to keep it a secret," Spry said. 

It wasn't until years later that Spry was able to come to terms with what had happened. 

"I didn't know then, but when I heard the word human trafficking and realized I was just a product it was the first time I actually got mad. Before I just felt hurt and pain but I got mad and thought how dare he, how dare that man just do this for greed and for money and whatever other evil reasons he did that for, but then I just thought wow I wish somebody would've been there for me," Spry said. 

Now, spry has made it her life's mission to become an advocate for child sex trafficking education and prevention. She, along with law enforcement experts are working to train child abuse advocates in Bradford county about how the issue is evolving in modern times. 

"Every time you see a computer or a cell phone bust or some type of child porn bust, that represents thousands and thousands of pictures and videos of live action shots of children being sexually assaulted, abused, molested, and tortured," Spry said. 

"You need to have an opportunity to look at your kid's cell phone, don't let them go to bed with their cell phone because what we've done is we have trusted our kids so much...and we may have good kids! But sexual predators are so good at what they do and they know that," Retired Police Chief Jim Holler said. 

A reminder that child sex trafficking can happen anywhere, at any time...even in rural Bradford county, where the Children's Advocacy Center has already had more cases this year, than last. 

"Everyone needs to be on their radar no matter who it is. People that we trust the most a lot of times are some of the individuals that end up molesting are kids because we've lowered our guards," Holler said. 

"I want to encourage people to see the signs, recognize the children, look at their neighbors, look at the strangers that are around these children, and be a voice," Spry said. 

If you or someone you know would like to report an incident, please call your local children's advocacy center. 

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