Welcome to FreewayNC. We commend you as parents for investigating our curriculum and resources. Our curriculum 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 identifying warning signs, 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 scary 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 can be "friends" or "boyfriends", gang members, business owners, relatives and friends of the family. Traffickers look for vulnerable children and teens to groom and exploit. Preteen and teenage girls and boys are trafficked, but younger children can also be trafficked.
Traffickers find victims through social networks, area neighborhoods, the internet, schools, clubs/bars and places kids and teens hang out such as parks, malls and fast food restaurants. Traffickers earn the trust of their victims by offering love, friendship, protection, adventure, opportunity, a place to stay and a sense of belonging. Traffickers often initially appear to be caring older boyfriends.
Traffickers operate out of private homes, hotels, bars/clubs, massage parlors, truck stops and on streets and intersections known for prostitution.
What should Parents know for Prevention?
Become aware of the signs of grooming and trafficking. Talk to your child about human trafficking. Establish safety measures and rules that will help protect your child from trafficking. 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 situations.
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia provides a fact sheet to help parents become aware of the signs of human trafficking and take preventative steps to protect their children. In addition to providing helpful information, the fact sheet recommends several books. We encourage you to read these books BEFORE deciding to give them to your teen or tween to read.
What Guidelines are Recommended for Online Safety?
Traffickers use the internet to befriend potential victims as well as to sell commercial sex. 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 in some cases adults is illegal. To help ensure your child's safety establish family rules for internet use. Use these suggestions as a guide:
Never give personal information to someone you meet online.
Never make arrangements to meet someone in person that you met online.
Only share photos of yourself or others online that you would be comfortable with the whole world seeing.
(This will help provide protection from trafficking related blackmail and revenge porn.)
Avoid viewing pornographic images. (These may have been illegally obtained through sex trafficking.)
Use parental controls on computers, tablets and phones. (Learn more)
Keep the GPS tagging feature on your phone turned off to protect your location from predators. (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)
What Resources are Available for Getting Help?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline number as well as other national crisis hotline numbers 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. It also helps connect individuals with training and volunteer opportunities.
This listing of local organizations is useful for parents who need information on victim or survivor services. Many of these local organizations also hold community awareness events and provide training and volunteer opportunities.