LINKING ARMS ACROSS AMERICA
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING
We envision a day when human trafficking no longer exists in our backyard
and all people are empowered to live in freedom.
In Our Backyard (IOB), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, links arms across America in the fight against human trafficking through awareness, action, education, legislative advising and advocacy for survivors. In 2006, In Our Backyard (IOB) Founder and Executive Director Nita Belles was exposed to the realities of human trafficking in America and realized that there was no option to “stand on the sidelines” of this atrocity. At the request of Oregon’s U.S. Marshall over human trafficking, Belles founded the Central Oregon chapter of Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (CO-OATH) in 2009, which has since integrated into IOB combining both local and national human trafficking efforts. IOB’s flagship programs, Freedom Stickers and Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) provide critical public awareness and lifelines of hope for victims of human trafficking.
What We Do
IOB believes that awareness is the critical first step to ending human trafficking. IOB places Freedom Stickers in public restrooms across the country, providing hope and a pathway to freedom for victims of human trafficking. Its newest program, Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) raises public awareness of the issue in communities across America. CSAT engages convenience stores as trafficking prevention centers in local communities by training employees to recognize and report human trafficking.
IOB works to eradicate human trafficking through partnerships with top law enforcement, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. As a highlight of our anti-human trafficking efforts, IOB works to eradicate sex trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl. The operation began eight years ago and has continued in every Super Bowl host city since. This program increases awareness, supports law enforcement efforts and looks for missing children.
IOB provides expert testimony as an advisor on HT laws and has influenced the passing of human trafficking legislation in several states. IOB was instrumental in the passing of Oregon’s House Bill 3143 which requires that Freedom Stickers go out with every renewed liquor license in the state of Oregon.
IOB implements a victim-centered response and works with human trafficking survivors. IOB connects them with services including, but not limited to: housing, medical services, mental health counseling, health care, legal aid, law enforcement support and financial aid.
Nita Belles, founder of IOB and a recognized expert in the anti-trafficking movement, serves as national keynote speaker and trainer for nonprofits, businesses, schools, community groups, law enforcement and other government agencies.