By David Hazledine
Since its founding in 2015, Beloved: Not Forgotten has continued to make progress on behalf of women who have suffered sexual trauma.
The last nine months have been particularly fruitful, according to Executive Director Dawnna Plummer, and she hopes to maintain this momentum in coming weeks and months, as Beloved works to attain its goal of purchasing a home with eight to 10 beds for women 18 and over who have escaped sexual exploitation through human trafficking.
“A lot of good things happened in the last nine months,” Plummer exclaimed, “A lot of people from the community came through.”
Most importantly, Beloved helped an individual escape a trafficking situation. For their safety, details are kept confidential; however, after being contacted through the internet, Beloved was able to find safe shelter in another state.
After receiving a $25,000 grant from PB&J Foundation of Fort Wayne, Beloved purchased an apartment capable of housing two individuals in an emergency situation. Plummer noted such individuals often escape with little more than the clothes on their back and are often without identification, another way they are kept at the mercy of their captors.
Through contacts gained during the last five years, Plummer can provide preliminary medical assistance and counseling. Beloved also works with organizations such as Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program to obtain legal aid and National Shelter Alliance for more permanent housing. Of course, Plummer is looking forward to the day Beloved will provide such housing.
In August, Beloved was able to reconvene SAAFE Circle (Sexual Abuse & Assault Forum for Empowerment), a support group for women 18 and over. “It’s difficult for survivors to find that courage to step out,” said Tina Arend, who has been a part of Beloved since its founding. “They all have unique stories with common threads.”
All too often, Arend explained, survivors are forced back into the day-to-day world before being able to “shut out the world and figure things out.” SAAFE Circle meets privately at 6:30 p.m. every other Tuesday with the mission to provide a safe, confidential, supportive community where women who have been victimized by any form of sexual trauma are able to share like experiences and “walk together in their journey of healing.”
Donations have enabled Plummer to work full-time for Beloved. A board of directors has also been formed, though Plummer noted more board members are needed.
On Aug. 21, a “Fill the Car” event hosted by The Ruwm in Warsaw raised roughly $6,000, as well as an actual car, donated by Margarita Cervantes, which will be raffled off Sept. 26 during Beloved’s Fallfest, a diverse event including activities for kids and adults alike — including a sporting clays tournament — from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Back Forty in Bourbon. This brings Beloved’s total to nearly $50,000, around 5% of what is needed to purchase the home.
Fallfest will also include unique craft and vintage vendors, live music, food trucks, bouncy houses, games and more. Go to the Beloved website for more information or send an email to [email protected]
For more information on Beloved: Not Forgotten go to www.belovednotforgotten.net, where there is also information on ways to donate. Send checks to P.O. Box 962, Warsaw, IN. 46581.