“Nita Belles has been on the front lines in confronting human trafficking in America. As the title of In Our Backyard makes plain, modern day slavery is not just an international phenomenon involving victims who are smuggled into our country and others. Human trafficking is an enormous domestic problem as well, as Ms. Belles powerfully documents in her book. It should be required reading for all who are unaware of this tragic reality, as well as for all of us who already understand it as a fact.”
– Rob McKenna, Former WA State Attorney General, and Former President of the National Association of Attorneys General 

“The aptly titled In Our Backyard is superb. Belles compellingly calls for action based on the truth that every human life is of equal, enormous value.” -Mark Lagon, Former US Ambassador and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking In Persons

“In Our Backyard – Run by Nita Belles. Nita is not a survivor of human trafficking. This makes her ‘not from my world’ – harder to trust. Nita has shown Survivors more respect than anyone I have ever known. She gives value to each of our voices and lifts us up. She takes our words and speaks them to Government agencies. She has put in countless hours towards my Pardon Request and continues to pull every resource she has developed to continue to get my pardon approved. Her outlook is ‘The Survivors are the experts’. -Wendy Barnes (Survivor)

“A vital resource and tool that should be required reading for every concerned citizen.”
-Francine Rivers, Author of Redeeming Love and many other bestsellers

“In Our Backyard” is an excellent introduction to learning about human trafficking, but it is more than that. It is a call to action. So many times, after learning that slavery still exists, people become overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, where to start, how to help. What I love about this book are the discussion questions and the lists of practical, simple actions that are provided in each chapter. Each one of us can combat human trafficking, and it is imperative that each one of us does just that or it won’t end. I was a high school history teacher for years and would tell my students about the “tea drinkers” of history–those who lamented a social ill but did nothing more than talk about it over their tea time. The “tea drinkers” never changed anything. We need fewer “tea drinkers” and more activists. This book will help you kick over the tea table and get started in the fight against modern-day slavery!” -Kylla Lanier, Cofounder and Deputy Director of Truckers Against Trafficking

It is with great pleasure to recommend Nita Belles as a speaker or resource. She spoke at the general session and at the two breakout sessions at our 2013 National Human Trafficking Awareness event, held at Saddleback’s Rancho Capistrano Regional Campus. Her topic was “US Outreaches: Super Bowl and Beyond. Both breakout sessions were standing room only. The feedback from participants’ surveys scored her above average and comments were glowing.

She was selfless and generous of her time. She was a willing resource to germinate ideas with our church leadership. She was the only speaker at the symposium who participated in all the pre-event activities: prayer walk and prayer vigil. She brings a sincere heart, deep knowledge, diverse experience and a strategic mind, to engage a multi-sector approach (faith-based, legislative, law enforcement, non-profit, etc.) to combat human trafficking. She’s gracious and ethical. In the field, specifically at the Super Bowl outreach, she’s tenacious, compassionate and bold. Her strategic alliances are deliberate and her work is rightfully well respected.

Communities could use a few more Nita Belles in the quest to stop modern day slavery.”

Millie Gess, Leader of Local and Global Anti-Human Trafficking Ministry at Saddleback Church

“I first had the opportunity to meet Nita in 2012 at the National Association of Attorney Generals in Seattle, Washington. Ms Belles presented, along with staff of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, on her participation in identifying and rescuing possible trafficking victims during the Super Bowl. The information she shared was fascinating and motivating.
Since that time, I have had the opportunity to see first hand the passion Ms. Belles has for the victims of human trafficking all across our country, not just in her home state of Oregon. Nita has been most accommodating in her efforts to assist the State of Mississippi raise its awareness and response to the crime of human trafficking, and has travelled to Mississippi on multiple occasions to educate and raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. In June of 2012, Ms. Belles presented at the Mississippi Human Trafficking Conference, the first of its kind held in the state. Her presentation was extremely enlightening for the multi-disciplinary crowd – over 200 law enforcement officers, social workers, child protection workers, victims advocates, and attorneys – many of whom were familiar with the term “human trafficking,” but were in no way prepared to hear of the extent of the problem in the United States.

Ms. Belles has subsequently returned to Mississippi a number of other times to share her knowledge with us. In October of 2012, she participated in two separate training events for law enforcement, one held in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and the other in Pearl, Mississippi. Many of the law enforcement officers present indicated that the information provided was some of the most useful they had ever received at a training session of this nature – that it was not only relevant to their jobs, but practical as well. Ms. Belles again came to Mississippi in January of 2013, the week before the Super Bowl was to be held in New Orleans, just a short drive away from many Mississippi communities, to review her efforts to identify and rescue trafficking children, and to share her expertise and assist Mississippi officials in educating our local law enforcement. She facilitated our state’s coordination with the KlaasKIDS Foundation, and as a result, we were able to have information distributed on several children who were missing in Mississippi and could be susceptible to being preyed upon by traffickers, one of the key way that has been utilized in the past to help rescue trafficking children.

In addition to these formal trainings and conferences, Nita is always available as a resource – I never wonder whether she will respond to an e-mail or a phone question. I am very pleased to have had the honor to work alongside Nita, and I hope that we will continue to work together in the future. It is somewhat overwhelming to work in the presence of someone who has truly made a difference in so many people’s lives. ”

Heather Wagner – Special Assistant Attorney General for MS

“Nita inspired us and gave us a vision of what is even possible! Her work on the Super Bowls is truly amazing and I am awed by the simple yet profound ways these girls can get help and be brought to a safe place. Nita’s book is what propelled us forward and helped Willow Creek launch our own human trafficking ministry… it is growing and flourishing.”

Anne Rand – Willow Creek Care Center

“It was such an hour to have Nita at Northwest. We are confident that [our students] were profoundly impacted by Nita’s message and mission!”

Northwest University

“Nita’s presentation to the OYA Parole/Probation staff was informative, professional, and well-received. It set the tone for a successful statewide meeting. Nita’s dedication to the youth of Oregon is certainly recognized by our group. We know first hand the passion and commitment it takes to serve at risk youth. Nita is a role model and an inspiration.”

Jim Kramer – Chief of Parole/Probation Operations, Oregon Youth Authority

In my work as an advocate for survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, I have had the pleasure of working with Nita Belles on a few occasions. She has presented to the volunteers at our organization and has worked closely with advocates to help victims of human trafficking seek safety at our shelter.

Through the trainings Nita has offered at our organization she has shown a wide breadth of knowledge. Her presentations have been very informative, accessible and eye-opening. Her experience lends to an interesting and inspiring presentation for which we have received only positive feedback. Her passion for her work is clear and contagious. After a volunteer in-service training at which Nita presented, several volunteers expressed interest in working specifically with victims of human trafficking.

While working with our organization to serve human trafficking victims, Nita has shown tenacity and resourcefulness. She makes the right connections and doesn’t give up. She is kind, compassionate and most importantly, does not pass judgment no matter the situation. She is an amazing advocate for human trafficking victims and I am thankful for her partnership with our organization through which we have helped many.

Christina Echternach – Advocate and Volunteer Program Coordinator Saving Grace, Bend, Oregon


Nita Belles

Nita Belles, Author and Speaker

Speaking Request

In Our Backyard by Nita Belles

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It
By Nita Belles