Women’s Own Worth, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence, aims to help victims through scholarships and donations.

W.O.W. founder Jajuan Archer says her organization tries to bridge the gap between the state and other organizations for those in need. While her organization focuses primarily on domestic violence victims, it helps many people who need it.

“We help not only victims of [domestic violence] but violence also,” Jajuan says.

Jajuan founded W.O.W. after a traumatic experience in her own life.

“I was a victim in 2011, and I was almost murdered,” she says. “When that happened to me, I realized there needed to be more help. There’s a huge need from those suffering.”

The nonprofit aids victims in any way it can – whether that’s through help with gas money, rent payments, therapy co-pays or baby showers.

“When you suffer through the tragedy of losing a family member… you become the victim,” Jajuan says.

Laurie Jernigan holds a flier about her missing daughter, Ebby Jane Steppach.

One of the women W.O.W. has helped is Laurie Jernigan, mother of missing woman Ebby Jane Steppach. Jajuan says she and Laurie bonded because they were both moms. Jajuan feels that Ebby met with foul play, which means, to Jajuan, that Laurie is a victim, too.

W.O.W. recently gave Laurie a check for $1,000 to help with her expenses; it’s the first time the organization has helped search for a missing child.

“Whatever will help [Laurie] breathe a little bit better,” Jajuan says. “We just want Ebby home.”

Laurie says she’s grateful for W.O.W.’s financial help, but most grateful for Jajuan’s friendship.

“She reached out to me immediately after Ebby disappeared. She came to our first fundraiser for Ebby and offered to help us, me any way she could,” Laurie says. “She gave me all of W.O.W.’s information. She sent it to me again, knowing I couldn’t comprehend W.O.W. the first time we met. She’s a wonderful woman, transparent and humble. I’m honored to be her friend and so grateful for W.O.W.’s help.”

W.O.W. recently held a scholarship essay contest, through which it awarded $1,000 to three Arkansas students who are survivors of violence. In addition to the top three winners, the contest had about nine other applicants, all of whom will receive $100 gift cards, Jajuan says.

Jajuan plans for the scholarship contest to be held every year, and she hopes to increase the number of $1,000 awards to five instead of three.

To donate to W.O.W., or to ask for help, email womensownworth@gmail.com, call 501-303-9978 or visit the organization’s website at womensownworth.com.