Anti-Human Trafficking Activist Weighs In On Local Allegations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Anti-Human Trafficking Activist Weighs In On Local Allegations

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – It's shocking to hear reports of human trafficking, regardless of where they are.  But when a woman living in Spokane Valley reports she was held as a sex slave against her will, it sparks an incomparable reaction of disgust and disbelief among those in our community.

But Nita Belles has been working to fight human trafficking throughout the northwest – and the country – says, no community is exempt.

"Human trafficking is happening in every nook and cranny of the United States," she told KHQ.

Belles says it can happen to anyone - not just the down and out - and it happens in our own communities.  Author of the book ‘In Our Backyard,' Belles says she was personally involved in another suspected case of human trafficking in Eastern Washington – but it was never confirmed.

The issue is widely under-reported.  Unless the victim comes forward, human trafficking is very difficult to confirm, let alone successfully prosecute.  ‘Boyfriends' will often groom women until a level of trust is established between them; then he will force her into certain acts, and threaten her family members or other loved ones if she escapes.

But in this case, the victim did come forward.

"It is pretty rare," Belles said.  "I'm just so pleased that she was able to get free, and she must have been terribly frightened for her life in order to do that, is my guess."

In Belles' experience, when one person comes forward as a victim of human trafficking, it is common that there are other victims involved.

"All the traffickers ask is that we don't believe it's in our community, and that we do nothing," Belles added.  "We must become informed about human trafficking in our backyards and work to stop it."

One easy thing every person should do is program the phone number for the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline into your cell phone: 1-888-373-7888.  Call it any time to report suspicious activity; but if you see someone in immediate danger, call 911.

To learn more about this issue, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Our-Backyard/192569767427476 or http://www.nitabelles.com/.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police say 8 dead in Mississippi shooting

    Police say 8 dead in Mississippi shooting

    Sunday, May 28 2017 2:16 PM EDT2017-05-28 18:16:56 GMT

    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Authorities say a shooting spree that left eight people dead in Mississippi began with a call regarding a domestic dispute.      The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Sunday that three female victims and a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy were killed. 

    >>

    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - Authorities say a shooting spree that left eight people dead in Mississippi began with a call regarding a domestic dispute.      The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Sunday that three female victims and a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy were killed. 

    >>
  • Police: Woman locked her kids in car trunk while she shopped

    Police: Woman locked her kids in car trunk while she shopped

    Saturday, May 27 2017 4:26 PM EDT2017-05-27 20:26:48 GMT

    RIVERDALE, Utah (AP) - A 39-year-old Utah woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her two young children in her car's trunk while she went inside a Wal-Mart store to shop. Riverdale police say witnesses heard the children ages 2 and 5 making noise and saw the car shaking, got the older child to pull the emergency latch and called 911.

    >>

    RIVERDALE, Utah (AP) - A 39-year-old Utah woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her two young children in her car's trunk while she went inside a Wal-Mart store to shop. Riverdale police say witnesses heard the children ages 2 and 5 making noise and saw the car shaking, got the older child to pull the emergency latch and called 911.

    >>
  • Jack Stockton, former owner of Jack and Dan's, passes away at 89

    Jack Stockton, former owner of Jack and Dan's, passes away at 89

    Sunday, May 28 2017 12:34 PM EDT2017-05-28 16:34:05 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Jack Stockton, the former owner of Jack and Dan's Bar and Grill, and father of Hall of Fame basketball player John Stockton, passed away Saturday at the age of 89. Hennessey Funeral Home will be handling the funeral arrangements.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Jack Stockton, the former owner of Jack and Dan's Bar and Grill, and father of Hall of Fame basketball player John Stockton, passed away Saturday at the age of 89. Hennessey Funeral Home will be handling the funeral arrangements.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/