Educating and empowering the next generation


{ For the sake of privacy, the writer’s name will not be shared. }


Jen Spry was sex trafficked for 2 years from 8 to 10 years old. Today, she stands strong as a survivor, trainer, and advocate. On October 3 in Fort Collins, Colorado, Jen taught youth ages 9-18 about appropriate boundaries and how to defend them.

“This is to prevent things from happening to you,” she told the kids. “You get to define your own limits, and you have every right to defend them.” 
As I listened, I couldn’t help but wish I had received the same training when I was younger. It may not have stopped the abuse I endured, but I could have defined to someone else what was happening to me. As I watched 35 kids identifying and protecting their boundaries, I glowed with gratitude. My heart soared at the thought of their personal empowerment. This night was colossally important. 
After all, the single most determining factor in a person’s vulnerability to being trafficked is their age. In the United States, the average age minors are first exploited
for sex is 12-14. Additionally, child abuse is jen2not rare: 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form os sexual abuse before the age of 18. Predators have a physical presence at locations popular with youth (schools, malls, parks, etc.) to groom potential victims. Traffickers also hunt for young victims online via social media apps.
The numbers are disturbing, but Jen provided a plan for those kids and teens to take with them no matter where they go or who they interact with – family, friends or strangers. There is freedom in daring to know more – now, 35 more youth in Fort Collins are armed with knowledge about appropriate boundaries and courage to defend them.

Life for the Innocent is committed to providing communities with the knowledge and tools necessary to combat human trafficking worldwide. A primary focus within that vision is educating and empowering the next generation.
As a survivor of abuse, I cannot overestimate the importance of creating a safe space for kids to talk about the topics of abuse and exploitation. To meet that need, LFTI offers a Youth Prevention Workshop. Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required to learn more or schedule a training for the kids you care about! 

You can see tangible action steps for parents here, and read more about Jen Spry’s inspiring story at her website
Dare to know. Dare to hope. YOU can make a difference! 
LFTIEducating and empowering the next generation