it starts with youth

Nest’s Prevention Education Program not only gives students concrete information and skills to prevent sexual exploitation, it also supports the deeper project of education, which is to empower young people to navigate an increasingly complex world and to process difficult knowledge in safe and trauma-informed ways.
Crucially, we prioritize the training of teachers, counselors, and other school staff and develop resources for parents and caregivers. We aspire to share tools and guides that enable the adults who surround our youth to intervene if they sense risk and to support a child if s/he discloses.

nest curriculum

While a lack of investment in research means that we don’t know the true number of child sex trafficking victims in North America, it’s clear that child sexual exploitation in various forms is on the rise. Adult retrospective studies show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18 (CDC, 2005). Numerous cases of sexting, cyberbullying, sextortion, and assault followed by digital “shaming” point to a crisis. Additionally, the sharp increase in the oversexualization of girls/women and one dimensional presentation of boys/men in media and advertising set distorted expectations about sexuality.

Through the Nest curriculum, we trace how these phenomena, when left unchecked, tacitly contribute to sexual exploitation and trafficking by increasing both victimization and demand. By raising students’ awareness, empathy, and their capacity to adopt healthy and respectful choices online and off, the goal of the Nest Curriculum is to help build a world in which every child has a safe and happy childhood.



nest student forums

At Nest Student Forums, young people share the stage with the leaders and policymakers in their communities. By having a seat at the table, youth voices have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas about ways we can make their schools and neighborhoods safer.

Students at these forums propose interventions and share experiences and the ensuing dialogue between peers, policymakers, parents and community members opens up the possibility of finding realistic, local prevention strategies and solutions.



Nest Family Nights

Nest Family Nighte were created by Nest in partnership with Cynthia Cassella (Harvard Graduate School of Education), to challenge taboos and discomfort that create barriers to communication between youth and parents and caregivers.

Nest Family Nights are designed to bring families into the conversations that students are having about sexual violence prevention through the Nest Curriculum.

Students take the lead and facilitate small group conversations among other students and family members. Through a gallery walk, parents and family members learn about the Nest lessons, ask questions, and start an important dialogue with the teens in their lives.



nest community workshops

Since the film’s release, PLAYGROUND has been used as part of training sessions and workshops for people on the frontlines across the country and we continue to work with organizations to adapt our media for training workshops for social workers, law enforcement,

judges, medical students and others who are in a position to identify and intervene in cases of child sexual exploitation. Connect with us to learn how you can bring Nest media, including PLAYGROUND to your community training.

NCMEC Harvard Department of Justice World Congress on Family Law United Nations NGO Commission on the Status of Women

emergency assistance

In many cases, first responders do not have quick (or any) access to discretionary funds that would allow them to move victims into safe situations. To bridge this gap, Nest created the Victims Assistance Fund. Through our collaboration with individuals in the FBI and other agencies, we are able to provide immediate resources and financial support to victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The fund is made possible through tax deductible 501(c)3 donations from the public.

The Victims Assistance Fund is generously supported by Circ Cell.

After relocating to Mexico from Boston, both a mother and her 10-year-old daughter were kidnapped and trafficked by a cartel. Though they eventually escaped, and testified against their perpetrators, the local authorities did not provide them with protection or a way to get back home. Nest was able to assist the U.S. Embassy in Mexico by financing the repatriation of this woman and her daughter.
A 15-year-old girl was trafficked to Reno, Nevada, and after being picked up by federal authorities, requested therapeutic support in an area near her family. Nest was contacted by the FBI and we were able to provide financial assistance to fly the victim back home to Wisconsin and identified a facility for her within 45 minutes of her home.