Portfolio: Human Trafficking Prevention Curriculum Matrix

In 2015, Session Law 2015-279 was passed by the NC General Legislature, mandating the inclusion of sex
trafficking prevention education in reproductive health education in NC schools. This mandate is challenging to implement for a variety of reasons, beginning with the fact that it is unfunded. Implementation is also made difficult by the fact that only one human trafficking prevention curriculum is currently considered “evidence-based” after sufficient peer-reviewed research (My Life My Choice), and that curriculum is gender-specific (for adolescent girls only), focuses primarily on one specific model of sex trafficking, and is designed to be co-facilitated by a clinician partnered with a survivor-leader. Logistically, district-wide implementation with fidelity in a school setting would be challenging.

Because sex trafficking is a form of sexual violence, the NC Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Council (SVPAC) decided to create a resource that would assist schools in determining the best curriculum to meet their needs. The SVPAC is co-facilitated by the NC Division of Public Health and the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA), and is an ongoing gathering of statewide professionals from a variety of public health and education fields with additional expertise in violence prevention.

In summer of 2020, I supervised Madison Van Epps on her practicum for the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. Together, Madison and I created a project management process and surveyed a number of curriculum-providers in North Carolina. This document was the product, after which Madison was able to present a series of webinars for NCCASA about this toolkit as well as a presentation at the 2021 International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference. This Matrix is mentioned in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy as one of two examples of statewide efforts to educate practitioners on curriculum selection.

project manager, practicum supervisor, co-author