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>>

  • One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-21 06:10:55 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>
  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Pet owner asks B.C. firefighters to return 5 puppies found while fighting fire

    Pet owner asks B.C. firefighters to return 5 puppies found while fighting fire

    Monday, August 20 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-08-20 23:24:43 GMT
    BC Wildfire ServiceBC Wildfire Service
    BC Wildfire ServiceBC Wildfire Service
    A group of B.C. firefighters who took home five puppies they believed were lost during a fire is now being asked to return them to their owner. Heidi Lang told Castanet that the firefighters mistakenly scooped the puppies up along a road that runs through her farm.   According to a Facebook post by B.C. Wildfire Service, the firefighters spotted the dogs as they headed back from the Monashee Complex in the Kamloops Fire Centre, an area of the North Okanogan where over a do...>>
    A group of B.C. firefighters who took home five puppies they believed were lost during a fire is now being asked to return them to their owner. Heidi Lang told Castanet that the firefighters mistakenly scooped the puppies up along a road that runs through her farm.   According to a Facebook post by B.C. Wildfire Service, the firefighters spotted the dogs as they headed back from the Monashee Complex in the Kamloops Fire Centre, an area of the North Okanogan where over a do...>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/