Photography by SARAH ODEN
The trajectory of Jajuan Archer’s life shifted after becoming a victim of domestic violence. She is a survivor. “In 2011 I was almost murdered,” Jajuan recalls. “I needed to get my life back on track. After reaching out to services available through state and federal organizations, I quickly realized that something had to change.” Through the unwavering support of family and friends, Jajuan established Women’s Own Worth as a resource for other victims to pursue greatness.
For more than a decade, Women’s Own Worth has helped survivors connect with a statewide network of providers. “We try to bridge the gap between state and federally funded organizations,” Jajuan elaborates. “It’s our desire to serve those who have suffered trauma.” The results are measurable and the advocacy initiatives are equally impressive. With a finite focus on mental health therapy, Women’s Own Worth hopes to empower others through services that are uplifting. This includes a scholarship program that helps individuals pursue higher education – an invaluable component of independence and freedom – as well as guidance navigating the legal system. “We have been instrumental in passing three laws to help survivors and now we have accomplished yet another huge goal: transition homes for families.”
Situated in Saline County; the spacious land provides a safe haven with accountability that cultivates self-esteem and value. Residents are expected to pay a rate based on the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development guidelines. “These homes help families that have been impacted by violence know their worth. Some come to us and have lost everything – their car, home or livelihood. It’s our way of giving a hand up, not a handout.” Furniture and vehicles are other amenities that are funded through strategic partnerships. “Families shouldn’t feel shame or blame for the horrible acts others have done to them. We want to help them reclaim their lives.”
Jajuan has become an agent of change. She realizes this mission fulfillment work wouldn’t be possible without a community that shares in her vision. ‘’My husband is my biggest supporter. Our Savior is the one we give all the glory to for every milestone accomplished.” As Women’s Own Worth continues the relentless pursuit of healing broken families, Jajuan’s optimism is palpable. “This is my second chance to see opportunities and make things better for other people. W.O.W.’s tribe of volunteers help people on their journey to the great lives they deserve. Our hope is to build another two transition villas to provide a greater reach.”