67 W. Washington St.
: Bradford Area Public Library is offering a discussion about Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking on Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 PM. The program is free and open to the public. Due to the subject matter, this program is for mature audiences only.
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and, as part of this month, Meghan Inghram, a trained volunteer of Shared Hope International, and Tonia Hartzell, family advocate with the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County, will lead this program. Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is a crime that does not discriminate. All children, regardless of economic status, gender, race, and religion are vulnerable. Their age factors significantly into their vulnerability. Unfortunately for our county, the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County reports “child abuse is a tragedy that affects over 1700 children per year in our community. 95% of physical and sexual abuse crimes are committed by individuals the child knows. Consequences of child abuse include fear, loneliness, self-blame, poor self-esteem, anger, and mental health issues. Legal, social, medical and mental health services are designed for adults, not children. This is a community problem.” Due to the numbers reported, McKean County is at a high-risk for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking – not only because of the physical/sexual abuse, but also because our community struggles with opiate addiction. Where there are drugs, there is a potential for sex trafficking. As part of their presentation, they will display article after article from our local newspapers that highlight allegations and convictions of child sexual abuse and child pornography within our local communities.
We will view the documentary Chosen, the shocking true story of two All-American teenage girls tricked into trafficking. Eighteen-year-old Brianna was an honor-roll student, cheerleader and worked at a local café. Thirteen-year-old Lacy was an active member of her youth group, and a volunteer in her community. The 20-minute video is designed to equip preteens and teens to protect themselves and others from being trapped in the horrific and violent sex industry. There will be time for discussion after the video.