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Sex Trafficking Prevention Curriculum

Healthy Relationships

middle & High School

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Healthy Relationships™ safeguards against exploitative relationships while also fostering healthy connections

In addition to drawing from evidence-based practices in clinical psychology, counselling psychology, and community psychology, the curriculum incorporates crucial skills such as becoming an active bystander, internet safety, and critical thinking. Integrated within the curriculum are impactful clips from the ground-breaking documentary "PLAYGROUND: The Child Sex Trade in America," shedding light on the harsh realities of trafficking in the US. By empowering students with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond effectively to risky situations, the curriculum becomes a potent ally in safeguarding against potential harm, enabling students to cultivate healthy connections and fostering a heightened awareness to protect themselves from exploitative relationships.

research & Evaluation

Percentage of Students Reporting Knowledge & Skills Across Key Indicators

Knowledge & Skills to Recognize and Intervene in Risky Situations

48% Increase

A critical part of prevention education is knowing where to get, and how to give, help. Results support the effectiveness of this curriculum in increasing students’ confidence, knowledge, and skills to recognize signs of risk, and get help. This includes knowing how to keep themselves as well as others safe, including providing bystander interventions and awareness of safety resources.

Awareness of Sex Trafficking

54% Increase

After participating in the Healthy Relationships Curriculum, students are significantly more aware of sex trafficking, and the actions that they themselves can take to prevent it. Students also demonstrate an increased capacity for empathic concern for vulnerable populations in general, and victims of sex trafficking in particular.

Safety Skills

29% Increase

After participating in the Healthy Relationships Curriculum, students reported significantly increased levels of knowledge, including how their actions on social media could contribute to their risk, and skills to keep themselves safe.

Pro-Social Community Engagement

53% Increase

After participating in the Healthy Relationships Curriculum, students reported significantly increased levels of knowledge, including how their actions on social media could contribute to their risk, and skills to keep themselves safe.

Why is it called Healthy Relationships and not the Sex Trafficking Prevention Curriculum?

This curriculum provides students with everyday skills such as critical thinking and internet safety that have positive impacts on ALL their relationships - not just safeguarding against exploitative situations. In addition to a toolkit, the curriculum provides opportunities for teachers and students to engage in activities that build community and support pro-social behavior.

standards met

A comprehensive curricula that aligns with national health and violence prevention standards

Contact for Specific Standards Met

lessons overview

Empowering Students

The curriculum begins by exploring the roots of exploitation in society, particularly in the context of trafficking, establishing a foundation for learning everyday skills like setting boundaries, help-seeking, internet safety, and critical thinking. Culminating with a call to action, students are encouraged to actively contribute ideas on fostering safer communities for themselves and their peers.

1. Laying the Foundation

The foundation for an effective classroom environment is laid out, which will allow us to explore topics including vulnerability, privilege, oppression, and abuse. We begin to talk about social and political topics, engage in community building activities, and discuss our classroom agreements that center on participation, listening, and respect.

2. The Impact of Silence

We cover the broad topics of power, privilege, oppression, and vulnerability in society. The purpose of this lesson is to equip students with a vocabulary to discuss these issues; we will be using and building on this vocabulary throughout the unit. We are starting off this way because in order to truly understand the dynamics around risk, it’s important to look at sexual exploitation and trafficking not as an isolated action but as a problem closely linked to the way power operates in our culture and society, in addition to our relationships.

3. Consent & Healthy Relationships

The discussion of vulnerability continues through activities about consent and healthy relationships. Students are first provided with an opportunity to unpack what it really means to maintain interpersonal boundaries, with an emphasis on dynamics of power, privilege, and vulnerability. Students then discuss healthy relationships, by considering how they feel when they are in healthy relationships. We underscore the fact that there are many different types of relationships (romantic, platonic, professional, familial, friend), and they can all have characteristics of both healthy and unhealthy relationships.

4. When Boundaries are Crossed

We start by asking: what are unhealthy relationships, and what does it mean when boundaries are not respected? Students will also create safety plans by identifying trustworthy adults they can talk to if they believe themselves or someone else to be in an unsafe situation. Scenarios that are discussed include forms of sexual assault, exploitation, and sex trafficking.

5. Get the Facts: Child Sex Trafficking

Opportunities are provided for students to learn and use new vocabulary, read with purpose, and work together as a team to decipher myth from fact on important information regarding child sexual exploitation and trafficking. The intention of this lesson is to give students facts that will empower them to feel knowledgeable about the material and to encourage them to be change-makers by refusing to perpetuate these myths.

6. Becoming Critical Consumers

Students will participate in activities that encourage their critical, educated consumption of media content. Through reflection and discussion, students will be encouraged to interrogate the content of pop culture and the media. Additionally, students will be asked to consider whether or not the messages that this content communicates are accurate and productive. Solutions for societal problems will be solicited throughout.

7. Promoting Positivity

Students’ wellbeing and community are promoted via a discussion of bullying, cyberbullying, and abuse (including sextortion). Drawing on content about healthy relationships and consent, students learn about different ways of effectively responding when they see someone being bullied or abused. Additionally, students identify barriers to action and then brainstorm ways to get around them.

course topics

peEk inside the curriculum

elementary school

First Grade

Lesson 3:
Boundaries & Assertive Communication
Students will each learn about personal boundaries and practice using assertive communication to communicate a personal physical boundary.

Sample lesson plan

high school

Health II

Lesson 2:
Breaking the Cycle: Understanding & Preventing Interpersonal Violence
This lesson begins by defining Interpersonal Violence. Students will be challenged to identify strategies for responding to and preventing Interpersonal Violence.

sample lesson slide deck


What Comes Next?

For their final lessons, student groups design and implement a capstone project. The goal of this project is to inform, educate, and advocate in their school community. Some students choose to go further, hosting in cooperation with Nest, their our student-led Forums.

Capstone Projects

Student-Led Forums

course topics

peak inside the curriculum

elementary school

First Grade

lesson 1

In this lesson, students will learn the importance of their own role in creating a balanced, peaceful, kind community by creating the building blocks for a “kindness bridge” in the classroom.

lesson 2

In this lesson, students will learn the importance of their own role in creating a balanced, peaceful, kind community by creating the building blocks for a “kindness bridge” in the classroom.

lesson 3

In this lesson, students will learn the importance of their own role in creating a balanced, peaceful, kind community by creating the building blocks for a “kindness bridge” in the classroom.

lesson 4

In this lesson, students will learn the importance of their own role in creating a balanced, peaceful, kind community by creating the building blocks for a “kindness bridge” in the classroom.


We Take the Evidence Seriously.

Current data about child sexual exploitation and trafficking reveals critical determinants for risk, including a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and protective factors in preventing exploitation and fostering resilience. As an evidence-based intervention, the Nest Program is built on proven methodologies from education, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and community psychology.



We nurture each child’s self-awareness and inspire them to explore their feelings, express their ideas, and establish boundaries, as we know that these are the most fundamental resources for safety and fulfillment.


Youth Centered

We depend on allied adults to form circles of support and bonds of trust where young people remain centered in safe, expansive places that provide for their growth and healthy development.



Each traumatic experience is unique to each individual involved. We listen and affirm. We encourage voice and choice for trauma victims while modeling mutual trust and respect in interpersonal interactions.

curriculum license

What's Included?

Evidence-Based Lessons for Grades 7-12

2-Year Campus License Agreement

Online Teacher Portal Access

Easy to navigate, up-to-date teacher portal with all lesson materials, handouts, and support resources.

Asynchronous Training

Self-paced asynchronous training specifically crafted to support implementation

Customizable Live Training (optional)

Available for additional cost.

Nest Concierge Service

Regular virtual office hours available for campus staff seeking implementation support.

Discount on Nest Workshops

For students and/or school staff. Learn more about Nest Workshops.

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easy implementation

We Value Teachers' Time.

Nest reduces barriers for implementation through time-efficient educator trainings with concrete takeaways and an incredibly easy to use teacher portal.

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frequently asked questions

Is the “You Belong Here” curriculum considered a Social Emotional Learning curriculum?

Our 'You Belong Here' (YBH) curriculum prevents violence by addressing the interconnectedness of all acts of harm, and uncovering their single root cause - the human need for significance & belonging. Using proven social-emotional learning (SEL) framework, our programming builds empathy, accountability, gratitude, and emotional agility through human-centered education. Nest students ultimately build better connections and stronger communities so they can flourish both in their childhoods and throughout their lives.

Are the lessons intended to be taught in sequential order?

Yes, YBH lessons are designed with a gradual scaffold and build upon each other. Teaching them in order will assure that students develop the necessary skills to move forward with the material.

How many lessons are included in the curriculum?

There are 5-6 lessons for each unique grade level, except at the middle school level. Based on Health standards, 7th and 8th grade lessons are combined.

Who are the lessons designed to be taught by?

The YBH curriculum is aligned with national and state Health Education standards, therefore Health educators typically teach this material. However, every school district/organization can decide who is the most qualified (and trained) to facilitate the YBH curriculum.

How long are the lessons in this curriculum?

The lessons within this curriculum address challenging topics. They have been created for skill building, engagement, discussion, and critical thinking. Facilitators should prepare 45-50 minutes for lessons, if being taught in its entirety.

How do staff members get trained?

Asynchronous training will be embedded in the teacher portal. School districts/organizations can request live training in person training for an additional cost.

Can counselors and teachers co-facilitate lessons?

Yes, any trained professional can facilitate these lessons.

request the curriculum

Interested in bringing the Healthy Relationships Curriculum to your School?