Carrie just turned 16 when her friend committed suicide. Anxious and shaken, she found a local center offering support services for youth who’d experienced trauma. She happened to visit the day the center began a trafficking prevention group using Love146’s Not a #Number prevention curriculum. The discussion got her attention, and she asked if she could come back. During the 4th week, Carrie shared how she had already used what she’d learned.
Carrie worked part-time at a chain restaurant. One evening after finishing a shift, she sat down at a booth in the corner, waiting for her mom to pick her up. She noticed a man sit down a few tables over, but didn’t pay much attention. Exhausted, she took her cap off and put her head down.
Moments later, the man approached and said, “Hello, how are you?” Carrie glanced up, wondering if he needed help. “Do you work [here]?” he asked. “Are you a manager here?” Carrie was puzzled, since she was still in her uniform and clearly not old enough to be a manager.
“You just seem important, like you’re suited for a high-end position.” He went on, “I’m waiting for my friend here. She’s new in town — could you tell her more about working [here]?”
Feeling uncomfortable, Carrie moved closer to the checkout counter so fellow employees could see her. But a woman approached on the other side and blocked her. She began showering Carrie with compliments: “Oh my goodness, you’re so pretty.”
Carrie told the Not a #Number group, “I managed to get away. I made an excuse and went to get my manager, but moments later both the man and the woman were gone.
Because of what we’ve talked about at Not a #Number, I paid closer attention, and knew to trust my gut.
The woman wasn’t looking well, and I wondered if she was trafficked. But I knew I didn’t want to be a victim, so I had to get out of there. Everything happens for a reason, you know? Maybe that’s why I came to this class, just for that moment so that I would be safe.”
This program exists to reach children before traffickers do – children like Carrie.
Sometimes, prevention doesn’t feel urgent, but stories like Carrie’s show us that’s not true – more children need to be reached by Not a #Number, and the sooner the better.
That’s why we’ve set up a scholarship program: to bring Not a #Number to communities that are waiting for it. For some schools, agencies, and organizations, the added costs of bringing this curriculum and training to their community are out of reach. Your contribution today ensures that financial barriers won’t stop youth in those communities from being reached.
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