Jen Spry RN
Jen Spry RN
Entrepreneurial Inventor, Registered Nurse & Educator and
Survivor of Human Trafficking in America
International Adviser on the Topic of Child Sex Trafficking in America
I was human trafficked at 8 years old. This lasted for 2 years of my life. A man moved in only 4 doors away from our home and that is when my life was changed forever. My Mother never knew, because it happened when no one suspected which was between the hours of 3pm to 6pm. I made it home every night. No one ever came looking for me, because I never went missing.
I grew up very intent on keeping my secret. I did everything I could to try to be ok. I kept busy running from my past, but the nightmares and triggers were always there. I grew up feeling like I had no value. As a teenager I gave my body away to anyone and was reckless in my choices. By 19 years old I was working in a massage parlor, because I was already so abused and thought that was all I could do. That man stole my innocence and destroyed my chances at a normal life.
When I was 10 years old, out of desperation, I went to a doctor who missed the signs of the child abuse I was enduring.
In my child-like mind that doctor was my last hope for intervention. I left the doctor’s office feeling hopeless and then decided that I would never tell anyone what had happened to me. The aftermath has been painful. I have had numerous surgeries on my reproductive organs and a life time of counseling. For me, it was my faith that gave me the strength to make it through my childhood.
Life went on... I worked hard at trying to make things better and striving for normalcy. On the surface things looked great. By 30 years old, I had a growing business. I even attained an American patent with a registered trademark and joined the Women’s Business National Enterprise National Council. I am proof that you can never judge a book by its cover. By all standards, I was successful, but I knew the secrets and the pain that I lived with. Every day and night I was squashing down my memories and emotions all while I was trying to fix the superficial aspects of my life with anything I could think of.
In 2008 life came to a sudden stop- while I was at home having a pool party with my friends, the entire condo/development engulfed with flames. We ran out of the burning building and I my house burnt down in what turned out to be huge historical fire in the Philadelphia suburbs. As I watched everything I had worked for burn up in the fire, I had a life changing experience. It was at that moment that I realized that I had made it through my childhood for a reason. This is when I decided to face my past.
This was only possible, because, my Mother had recently passed away. I had never told her my secret, because I never wanted to break her heart. I watched how hard she worked to give us a “good” life. She sent my sister and I went to a private school and she made sure she was home for us when we got off of the bus each day. I loved my Mom and we were very close, but things still happened.
In 2009, I went to a private hospital to work through the trauma from my childhood. It was intense, but this changed my life. I learned so much and was able to confront painful aspects of my childhood in order to be restored. While I was there, I learned that my experience had a name – Child Sex Trafficking. Once I realized the full-picture of this crime, I made the decision to use my story and my life to protect other children from going through what I had went through. I decided that I was going to be the voice of the children who suffered in silence.
In 2010, I started my work in prevention of this crime. I joined an anti-trafficking coalition in Arizona. Through that experience, in 2011, I figured out the direction of how I intended to work in the anti-trafficking field. I returned to my home state of Pennsylvania to go to nursing school, because I wanted to educate medical professionals.
During all of this, I had to put all of my business stuff on hold, so I could become a full time nursing student. This was a huge decision for me, because I was changing the entire direction of my career and future. I became determined that my childhood experience had a value and that with it I was going to change our nation. I knew I had to understand the culture of the medical community and to have the credentials needed to be accepted. I wondered what I was going to do with the accomplishments I had achieved in business, but I knew what I was going to do with my story. At this point in my life, my priority was to be a student.
Summer 2014, it was evident that I was turning this trauma into a motivation passion that fueled determination. That experience with the doctor is why I am now a RN. I won 2014 Nurse of the Year, with a full scholarship to continue my education in the field of forensic nursing. I work with several Pennsylvania coalitions, the Maryland Trafficking Task Force, and a few other national organizations to bring awareness. I am an educator for schools, youth groups, and for law enforcement. I have spoken at Messiah College, Drexel College, Stockton University, Penn State University, Maryland School of Medicine, and Villanova Law School. I am a valuable piece to the solution to fighting this crime, by sharing my story and educating others on the different ways that people are sex-trafficked. I teach about the signs, identification, how to respond, and how to prevent. My passion is teaching medical professionals and teaching boundaries to children.
November 2014, I was extremely honored to be able to represent the State of Pennsylvania. I spoke on Capitol Hill alongside of Shared Hope International for the press release state grades on human trafficking in our nation. Every fall I go to DC to work with the largest anti-trafficking organization in the country, Shared Hope International. This is a powerful organization that creates the most used educational materials in the country teaching about human trafficking. In addition, I was honored to be the keynote speaker the 2015 JuST Conference.
January 2015, I became part of the Maryland Trafficking Task Force’s educational team that created a medical protocol we piloted at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD and since then at several more hospitals in the state of Maryland. We presented a tiered program that teaches medical professionals the how to identify and the respond through the correct channels including CPS, FBI, and Homeland Security. We are defining specific details of the forensic nursing assessment and interviewing process that directly pertains to sex trafficking victims. The program is teaching medical professionals how to care for a child during collection and preservation of valuable evidence. My goal is to have a team of medical professionals to do consulting and contract work for the Philadelphia region.
March 2015, I signed a one-year contract to be a National Expert Adviser on the JuSt Response Team for Shared Hope International. We collaborate on policies, protocols, legislation, and legal aspects that impact Human Trafficking in America. This has been an extreme honor and privilege that I take very serious. We have been traveling around the country to work on this and to bring direction and insight to creating laws to fight this crime.
When I work with children in the prevention aspect of trafficking I teach from a training module I created about boundaries in the face of a predator. This is an interactive piece that engages children and activates them into defining their boundaries. This is something I teach in person. I created and interactive role-playing program that really demonstrates how something terrible could happen to smart kids. The classes are for kids 6yrs of up to 18yrs old and they can be taught together for the program!
Today, I figured out a way to combine my passion for protecting children with my business expertise. This combination has potential to create mass revenue and protect children in the process. I have 3 United States patents, a registered logo and a trademark on the product name. I am eager to move forward with this endeavor and be successful in business. Currently, I am looking to introduce my patented products to strategically selected businesses. The products are made by a survivor, made in the America, and even packaged at a facility that employs people with disabilities. My goal is to sell the products nationally, while ensuring that a portion of the proceeds go towards preventing the trafficking of children.
In conclusion, it is a wonder that I have not only survived, but that I am thriving! Today I am choosing to live a life that will leave a legacy. I want to use my passion to help other kids be rescued and restored. I can honestly say that every day I wake up knowing my purpose and that I am finally at peace with my childhood. Life isn’t about what was done to you or what you do, but it is about who you are. Knowing your identity is the key to finding your own passion and purpose!
I am protecting children with my life and career by using my past, present & future.
I am Passionate and Determined!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ADVOCACY & SPEAKING ACHIEVEMENTS :
JEN SPRY HUMAN TRAFFICKING online information-
Towson University Keynote - http://thetowerlight.com/campus-hosts-maryland-freedom-conference/
Patricia King & XP Media - http://www.xpmissions.com/talitha-koum-rise-little-girl/
OpEd - https://www.sapphirenews.net/human-trafficking-problem-requires-strong-families-fight/
DC Press Release on State Grades - VA & PA - Representative Tim Hugo- http://timhugo.tumblr.com
Informer News - http://www.getamericapraying.com/downloads/OWIW_November%2012_2014.pdf
End It Now - Spencerville Church - https://spencerville.churchcenteronline.com/registrations/events/19294
Nations Survivor Network - Policy and Legislations - Survivor Relief Fund - http://nationalsurvivornetwork.org/templates/files/tsra-nsn-endorsement-letter.pdf
Colorado Human Trafficking Conferences - http://lifefortheinnocent.org/calendar/celebrate-every-tiny-victory/
ECPATUSA - FREDERICK DOUGLASS - http://www.ecpatusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2016-ALTERNATIVE-REPORT-FINAL-July-1-Submitted.pdf
New York, Commentor News - https://www.thenewscommenter.com/news/human-trafficking-problem-requires-strong-families-to-fight-it/735917#.WQ-xbFKZOgQ
C-FAM United Nations Event - https://c-fam.org/event/root-causes-trafficking-persons-key-role-family-protection-prevention/
Maryland Governor's Seminar on Safe Harbor - http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/pdf/55485/1
Archdiocese of Philadelphia - http://ourladylourdes.org/assets/insert-10-5-14.pdf
Catholic Citizens United Nations - https://catholiccitizens.org/views/70392/trafficking-survivors-tell-un-strengthen-families-protect-women-girls/
Jewish Federation - http://jewishexponent.com/2015/04/29/learning-hard-truths-about-sex-trafficking/
W9USA News North Virginia Dept. of Education Training - http://manassas.wusa9.com/news/news/2672981-human-trafficking-survivor-speaks-out
Miami Dade Training - http://www.southdadenewsleader.com/news/national/sex-trafficking-victim-shares-her-story/article_71fbba0e-6367-11e4-98c0-001a4bcf6878.html
Dept. of Health and Medicine in Maryland - http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDPCS/CSTIP/CSTIPDocuments/The%20Human%20Face%20of%20Sex%20Trafficking_Jen%20Spry.pdf
Frederick Memorial Hospital Training - https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/health/fmh-working-to-identify-human-trafficking-victims/article_5ed787d4-41ea-5d96-959b-b12cd81819ec.html
Stony Brook Hospital New York - https://socialwelfare.stonybrookmedicine.edu/humantrafficking
Online CARD from my Patent attorney - http://www.inventorsupdate.com/merry-christmas-from-quickpatents-2/
Texas Human Trafficking Awareness Conference - http://www.texasgopvote.com/family/justice-victims-trafficking-one-year-anniversary-008879
AGLOW - CITED works - https://www.aglow.org/ministries/anti-human-trafficking/anti-human-trafficking-newsletters/131-aht-newsletter-23-b
Maryland Dept. of Heath Conference - http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDPCS/CSTIP/CSTIPDocuments/2016%20STI%20UPDATE_Preliminary%20Agenda.pdf
DC Policy Briefing on Human Trafficking - http://cnsmaryland.org/2015/02/04/groups-working-to-end-sex-and-labor-trafficking-meet-plan-lobbying-effort/
Northern Virginia Justice Conference - http://www.novahtijusticesummit.com/speakers/
Review of the United Nations Press Conference - http://unitedfamilies.org/child-abuse/ufi-un-family-first-defense-human-trafficking/
Maryland State Dept. of Education - Panel Discussion - http://marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Documents/07262016/TabG.pdf
Towson University Maryland - http://thetowerlight.com/campus-hosts-maryland-freedom-conference/
Law Enforcement Training - Saint Mary's Maryland - http://smnewsnet.com/archives/394298/st-marys-county-sheriffs-office-hosts-human-trafficking-seminar/
JVTP - Law to Protect Children - http://poe.house.gov/2016/5/justice-for-victims-of-trafficking-one-year-anniversary
Niagara Falls Safe Harbor - https://www.wnypapers.com/news/article/current/2016/11/30/126804/safe-harbour-project-conference-to-address-child-trafficking-exploitation
Spoke at the UN - Standing Ovation - https://c-fam.org/friday_fax/trafficking-survivors-tell-un-strengthen-families-protect-women-girls/
Safe Harbor New York CAC - http://eac-network.org/sold-strangers-interview-jen-spry/
International Association of Forensic Nurses - http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.forensicnurses.org/resource/resmgr/Member/Jen_Spry.pdf
Pennsylvania Crime Commission and Delinquency (PCCD) _ http://www.pccd.pa.gov/training/Documents/Conferences%20and%20Training/2016%20Human%20Trafficking%20Symposium%20Agenda.pdf
Bucks County Pennsylvania - http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/tabs/hidden-victims/montgomery-county-woman-caught-in-sex-trafficking-when-she-was/article_4ff76e97-5424-5a6a-8a9f-2cec015bb139.html
Northland Church Orlando Florida - https://calendar.northlandchurch.net/event/an_evening_with_jen_spry_-_her_story_as_a_human_trafficking_survivor
Upper Merion - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania Police Brief - https://wn.com/upper_merion_township,_pennsylvania
Jewish Federation - http://jewishexponent.com/2015/04/29/learning-hard-truths-about-sex-trafficking/
FBI Training - http://www.infragardmd.org/announcements/seminar322017-humantraffickinginvestigationstheinnocent
Legal Training- http://sharedhope.org/2011/04/11/efforts-to-train-social-workers-in-pennsylvania-result-in-great-success/
Penn State Speaking Event- http://www.bk.psu.edu/33584.htm
Unchained Generation Board of Directors & Speaker in Arizona- http://www.inmaricopa.com/Print/Article/7799
Maricopa AZ- http://www.inmaricopa.com/Article/2010/03/06/maricopa-youth-educated-on-staying-safe-from-predators
The Lynn Doyle Show- http://www.lynndoyle.net/ItsYourCallwithLynnDoyle.html
The Bucks County Courier- http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/tabs/hidden-victims/montgomery-county-woman-caught-in-sex-trafficking-when-she-was/article_4ff76e97-5424-5a6a-8a9f-2cec015bb139.html
Spoke on CAPITOL HILL press release - http://vimeo.com/111124240 & http://www.washingtontimes.com/topics/jen-spry/
YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOOtLwZyxvs & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaXzkKDDzzg
Maryland Anti-Trafficking Task Force- http://thetowerlight.com/campus-hosts-maryland-freedom-conference/
Jen Spry Public Written Work - http://www.demandingjustice.org/2014/11/10/what-is-fueling-the-demand-for-child-sex-trafficking/
ABC News in MD. - http://www.abc2news.com/news/region/baltimore-county/survivors-of-sex-trafficking-provide-training-on-the-signs
Maryland’s Annual Governor’s Conference 2015 Panel Speaker and Presented The Healthcare Workshop
Awarded Executive Citation from Baltimore, Maryland 2015 - https://youtu.be/4_6SIGEE3kU
Educated and Presented – Maryland School of Nursing, CHAMPS Medical Assembly, Messiah College, Drexel University, Villanova Law University, Stockton University, Penn State University, and Towson University.
CHAMPS – Medical Professional Team at Maryland School of Medicine with Physicians and FNE Nurses
Maryland Law Enforcement Trainer in Sykesville, Maryland
JuST Council National Adviser http://sharedhope.org/2015/08/10/just-response-policy-paper/
Member of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force
NOVA 2015 Justice Summit in Northern Virgina - Key Note Speaker. http://www.novahtijusticesummit.com/speakers/
Maryland Human Trafficking Law Enforcement Training - Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention -
Frederick Memorial Hospital Medical Awareness Training -http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/health/fmh-working-to-identify-human-trafficking-victims/article_5ed787d4-41ea-5d96-959b-b12cd81819ec.html
2015 The Maryland Crime Prevention Association Conference in Ocean City Maryland
InternationalForensicNurses Association Recognition of Excellence- http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.forensicnurses.org/resource/resmgr/Member/Jen_Spry.pdf
2015 Shared hope Annual JuSt Conference - Trainer and National Adviser pg. 15 & 25 - https://sharedhope.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2015_JuST-Conference-Program_FINAL2.pdf
THERE ARE SO MANY MORE....
I NO LONGER LIST THE LINKS - FEEL FREE TO SEARCH MY NAME ON THE INTERNET....
I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS WORK AND WILL CONTINUE TO BRING AWARENESS.