By a Staff Reporter
Nita Belles, Executive Director of the non-profit advocacy group In Our Backyard, and its members, are seeking to raise awareness of ways to stop human trafficking at a special event on Saturday January 27th in Minneapolis, not far from the stadium where the NFL Superbowl game is being held. The goal is to educate and empower regular citizens to save the lives of innocent people.
Anyone can find themselves confronted with a human trafficking situation, the group believes. The victims are often right on the street and in stores in plain sight. “Traffickers, manipulate and instil fear in their victims.” says Belles. “They use force, fraud or coercion to keep their victims trapped in labor or sex trafficking. Inside a public restroom stall is often the only place that a victim of human trafficking is alone and able to ask for help.”
Belles, who has been actively involved in efforts to combat trafficking nationwide for the past 12 years, is organizing an innovative effort to get “Freedom Stickers” placed into public restroom stalls to provide victims a pathway to freedom, at a moment when the traffickers control is at its weakest. Each Freedom Sticker has the toll-free number and text of the National Human Trafficking Hotline in both English and Spanish.www.InOurBackyard.org