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AFN and Walking Wise Help Schools Build an Anti-Sex Trafficking Culture

The Academy of Forensic Nursing has partnered with Walking Wise, a developer of educational materials to help schools and students better understand and prevent child sex trafficking.

Walking Wise Founder Karla Highman has worked with forensic nurses, law enforcement, education professionals, survivors, and other subject-matter experts to develop a series of three-minute, animated videos for students aged 11 and up. Each video covers bite-sized topics related to sex trafficking — such as common myths, the differences between trustworthy and unsafe adults, and the grooming process.

Members of the AFN School Nurse and Public Health Special Interest Group were among the experts who provided input for the development and distribution of the Walking Wise program. The shared goal of AFN and the Walking Wise program is to give school nurses the resources they need to recognize and prevent sex trafficking.

“Walking Wise begins by providing essential tools to school nurses, who then, in turn, can help train school staff, parents, and – finally – students to build an anti-sex trafficking culture in the educational setting,” said AFN Treasurer Dr. Kathleen Thimsen, who has been actively working with Highman over the past several months to partner AFN with Walking Wise. “This program’s mission is closely aligned with that of AFN, and we know this will be a valuable partnership.”

As the first major collaboration in this partnership, Highman will co-present an AFN Wednesday Webinar on June 14 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. During the webinar, a panel of experts, including Highman, School Nurse Denise Buffin, and Detective Aaron Dennis, will discuss the Walking Wise program and how important it is for schools to adopt a prevention program.

“One thing I’d like every school nurse to know is that you absolutely can guide your school toward opening lines of communication for youth experiencing sexual exploitation,” said Highman of the Walking Wise program. “This program is here to give you the resources you need to make that difference.”

Later this fall, Walking Wise and AFN will present a special 11-part webinar series, Walking Wise: Building Anti-Sex Trafficking Culture. Each webinar will feature an expert in the field of human trafficking who will dive into one of the 11 modules in the Walking Wise video program. In addition, participants will receive training from Walking Wise’s three-minute animated video series and lessons to be incorporated into education (ages 11+), as well as medical staff training.

“Attending the Walking Wise webinars will give participants an understanding of how to hold candid conversations with young people about sex trafficking,” said Highman. “Together, we can cultivate a powerful defense against the commercial sex trade through knowledge.”

In addition to the webinar series, Walking Wise will join AFN in Booth #102 at the annual conference of the National Association of School Nurses, NASN2023, June 30 to July 3, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the Walking Wise program, the Academy of Forensic Nursing, and how school nurses are such a critical part of developing safe school environments.

For More Information

To learn more about the Walking Wise program and how it can be incorporated into your school, please visit

To find information about upcoming Walking Wise webinars, and other AFN educational offerings, check out our event calendar at:

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