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Welcome to FreewayNC. We commend you as parents for investigating the curriculum and resources. This series was designed for use in middle school and high school classrooms. It includes essential awareness and prevention information, presented in an age-appropriate manner. An emphasis is placed on recognizing trafficking, making wise choices and accessing resources for getting help. Each lesson includes an opportunity for students to respond to what they are learning in a positive, healthy manner. We've taken special care to avoid frightening stories and explicit content. Please contact us if you have any questions.

What Is Human Trafficking? 

If human trafficking is a relatively new term for you, start with this four-minute introductory video created by the US Department of Homeland Security.

How Do Sex Traffickers Operate? 

Traffickers or pimps can be male or female. They operate out of private homes, hotels, bars, clubs, massage parlors, truck stops and on streets and intersections known for prostitution. Traffickers may be gang members, business owners, relatives, authority figures or friends of the family. They may initially appear to be caring older friends or boyfriends.


Traffickers look for vulnerable girls and boys to groom and exploit. They find victims through social networks, area neighborhoods, social media, schools, clubs, bars and places kids and teens hang out. Traffickers often earn the trust of their victims by offering love, friendship, protection, adventure, opportunity, housing, food, clothing or drugs. They may promise an “easy” way to make money. Some traffickers give away drugs to hook and control victims. Traffickers within gangs may traffic other gang members (commonly females). 

What Can Parents Do?

Become aware of the signs of grooming and trafficking. Talk to your child about human trafficking. Establish rules and guidelines that will help protect your child from traffickers and other predators. Explain the purpose of these safety measures and talk about specific real-world situations your child may encounter and how to stay safe in these circumstances. 

Shared Hope International provides an internet safety parent resource that describes how traffickers groom victims through their screens and how to recognize the warning signs.

What Guidelines Are Recommended for Online Safety? 

Traffickers and other predators use social media, apps, the internet and video games to befriend kids and teens. They hide their true identity and build false relationships (often romantic). They may promise modeling or acting jobs. They may offer to send a gift or travel ticket to visit them. They may send nude images or ask for nude photos or videos and then use the images as blackmail to manipulate and control.


Traffickers also use the internet to post and sell pornographic images that were illegally obtained through sex trafficking. The online sale and viewing of pornographic images of minors and non-consenting adults is illegal. To help ensure your child's safety, establish family rules for screen use. 

We provide the following guidance to students:

  • Use privacy settings for social media and apps. Only communicate with people that you know in person. Only accept someone you know in person as a social media friend. 

  • Avoid posting personal information like your address or where you are every day. Don’t give this information to anyone you met on a screen. 

  • Don’t meet someone in person that you met through a screen unless a parent or guardian is involved.

  • Use safe search mode when surfing the web. 

  • Don’t open emails, files or links from people you don’t know in real life and trust.

  • Use apps and websites your parents or guardians are okay with you using.

  • Only use trusted apps with hundreds of good ratings. Turn off location, camera and microphone in device settings for each app. 

  • Don’t post, share or text photos or videos that show off your body. Only take and let others take photos or videos of you that you are okay with the whole world seeing. 

  • Don’t look at, make, send, post or request photos or videos of people without clothing. 

  • If you see images or videos of people without clothing leave the screen right away and tell a safe adult.

Additional steps parents or guardians can take:

  • Use parental controls on computers, tablets and phones. (Learn more)
  • Use cell phone tracking on your child's phone. This may provide a way to locate them in the event of an emergency. (Learn more)

  • Cover cameras when not in use on your child’s devices to protect them from spying predators. You can do this with tape, a sliding webcam cover or a phone case designed to cover the cameras. 

What General Guidelines Are  Recommended  for  Safety?

We provide the following guidance to students:

  •  Make sure a safe adult always knows where you are.

  • Create a code with your safe adults. Use the code to alert them if something is wrong.

  • Memorize your safe adult’s number and the human trafficking hotline number.

  • Keep a charged cell phone with you. Save important hotline numbers in your phone.

  • Avoid going places with people you don’t know well, especially in their vehicle.

  • Avoid gangs, pimps and locations where trafficking or other illegal activity may be happening. 

  • Avoid going to parties if you don’t know the person throwing the party well. 

  • Don’t use drugs and alcohol. Drugs can be added to any type of drink, so if you didn’t see it opened don’t drink it.

  • Don’t have secret relationships on your screens or in person. 

  • Avoid flirting or sharing about yourself with people you don’t know well.

  • Make wise choices on your screens.

  • Save important hotlines numbers in your phone.

How Should I Respond to Trafficking?

We provide the following guidance to students:

  • Get away from the trafficker if you can.

  • Always call 911 if you or someone else is in danger. 

  • Tell a safe adult.

  • Contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or text BeFree (233733).

We provide the following guidance to students concerning online trafficking:

If you suspect that you or someone you know has encountered online child predators or online trafficking, tell a safe adult. Your safe adult can use a cyber tip website to make the information available to law enforcement for possible investigation.


Parents or other adults who suspect trafficking can contact:

  • Local law enforcement

  • Federal law enforcement (1-866-347-2423)

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-3737-888)

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-THE-LOST)


  • Additional resources listed in the section below

What Resources Are Available for Getting Help? 

Contact the hotline to report suspected trafficking or get help for yourself or someone else. (1-888-3737-888)

Report suspected trafficking. (1-866-347-2423)

Contact the hotline for all issues related to the prevention and recovery of child victims including abduction, abuse and exploitation. (1-800-THE-LOST)

Submit information about suspected online exploitation of minors (enticement, child pornography, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, etc.). Your report will be made available to law enforcement for possible investigation.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline as well as other national crisis hotlines and tip lines provide a variety of resources for assistance and information for minors and parents. 

Polaris operates a US directory of local organizations. The directory is useful for accessing information on organizations in your community that provide emergency, transitional and long-term services for victims and survivors.

This directory provides a centralized resource for agencies and groups working to combat human trafficking across North Carolina. Critical information is available to schools for referral purposes and to parents and students who need victim or survivor services or are looking for opportunities to volunteer.

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