BREAKING NEWS Big Ten officially postpones the 2020-2021 fall sports season Full Story

WAAY 31 I-Team: Sex trafficking survivor shares her story

As a pre-teen, Lynn Caffery ran away from home to escape abuse, only to be taken in by a biker gang that injected her with drugs and sold her for sex.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 6:10 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2019 4:46 PM

Lynn Caffery's journey to where she is today is nothing short of amazing. She graduated with a master's degree and is close to finishing renovations on a house in Huntsville. In the home, Caffery will provide a place of healing for people who escaped horrific abuse, something Caffery survived.

"They kept me handcuffed to the motorcycle, handcuffed to the bed. They had me in the clubs working, and I was underage. They had enforcers at the door, so I couldn't run. If I ran, I was fearful they'll kill me," said Caffery.


Lynn Caffery

As a pre-teen, Caffery ran away from home to escape abuse, only to be taken in by a biker gang that injected her with drugs and sold her for sex.

"By that time, I was 13, doing a quarter ounce of meth and an ounce of heroin a day. Not counting the alcohol, or the pills, and I ended up getting away from them further down the line," said Caffery.

In the middle of unthinkable hardship, police arrested Caffery on drug crimes. She spent 12 years in prison. However, that's where she found healing through counseling and drug rehabilitation programs. As director of the Human Trafficking Task Force, Pat McCay explained sex trafficking is a big problem in our area.

"Parents trying to sell their children, they are selling their kids for sex. The money feeds the drug trade because most of these people who are in this situation, in human trafficking, it's a money thing, I want to buy drugs or I want something better in life, mostly drugs is what they're after," said McCay.

McCay says this area has become the hub or as she described it, a wagon wheel for sex trafficking, with Memphis to the west, Birmingham to the south, Atlanta to the east, Nashville to the north and Chattanooga and Knoxville to the northeast.

"We have I-65 coming in and out of our state. It comes in from Gary, Indiana, which is the northern part of our country, all the way down to Mobile. Then you have I-20, which has been identified in the U.S. as the super highway for human trafficking. It goes right through our state. We have 85 coming in from Atlanta. Atlanta has long been a huge problem for human trafficking. Then I-22, which is brand new coming in from Birmingham coming in directly to Memphis," said McCay.

Caffery has now dedicated her life to saving others. As the executive director of Safe Harbor Youth INC., she helps sex trafficking victims who have escaped captivity to start a new life.

"We work with therapy, trauma therapy, and I have a licensed social worker. She helps them with groups and individual counseling. We network a lot in the community, so they can get a further education, GED or high school diploma. They end up going to college or trade school and end up getting a degree," said Caffery.

When this house is completed, she'll have room for 20 people. Her facility is already reserved at capacity. Caffery says at 24 to 48 hours of being homeless, people are prime targets for sex trafficking. She says the average lifespan of someone, once they are trafficked, is seven years.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 98°
Florence
Few Clouds
95° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 101°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 93°
Scottsboro
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 108°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 123914

Reported Deaths: 1233
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23485308
Davidson20722217
Rutherford658955
Hamilton622053
Knox468540
Williamson357725
Sumner344972
Unassigned31424
Out of TN294714
Wilson232123
Bradley195613
Montgomery195213
Sevier18947
Putnam178518
Trousdale15836
Robertson156720
Hamblen140514
Blount131411
Washington12772
Maury12727
Tipton121110
Madison116018
Sullivan103714
Hardeman93017
Bedford92811
Macon86013
Lake7920
Loudon7493
Gibson7266
Bledsoe7081
Fayette7028
Dickson6982
Anderson6936
Dyer6638
Henderson6043
Cheatham5997
Jefferson5844
Obion5794
Lawrence5756
McMinn55320
Coffee5483
Rhea5382
Warren5334
Carter5246
Lauderdale5148
Haywood5106
Greene5048
Roane4852
Hawkins4837
Hardin4828
Cocke4783
Weakley4634
Cumberland4586
Smith4554
Monroe4529
Giles38513
McNairy3815
DeKalb3652
Franklin3324
Carroll3253
Lincoln3091
Marshall3044
White2945
Henry2900
Johnson2850
Claiborne2760
Hickman2730
Crockett2695
Campbell2541
Wayne2282
Marion2274
Chester2232
Decatur2163
Polk2073
Grainger2000
Overton1981
Unicoi1690
Union1620
Benton1591
Cannon1510
Jackson1291
Humphreys1283
Morgan1261
Scott1220
Grundy1142
Meigs1060
Sequatchie1060
Fentress960
Hancock812
Perry810
Clay780
Stewart780
Lewis741
Moore610
Houston590
Pickett371
Van Buren360

Community Events