Local nonprofit purchases safe house for domestic violence victims

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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HIGHLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - A nonprofit in Sharp County is working to build a safe house for victims of domestic violence and now could use the community’s help.

Safe Night Ministries began its mission in March 2021, looking to help victims in Sharp, Fulton, and Izard Counties.

Safe Night Ministries currently offers resources and counseling for those in violent situations.

Now, the group is expanding, and in a big way.

Last month, it purchased a residential home and is working to make it a safe home to give threatened victims somewhere to stay.

Through donations, the nonprofit will be able to continue providing services to women in the three counties, as well as continue working on the safe house.

Karen Bagwell, founder of Safe Night Ministries, said the organization’s mission is close to her heart; however, she said there will be strict guidelines regarding who can use the safe house.

“Mainly people that are in danger at that time. It would be someone who is leaving their abuser,” said Bagwell. “That’s the most dangerous time for an abused woman when she leaves because the abuser is losing control.”

Bagwell explained that the organization is committed to the safety and privacy of those brave enough to reach out.

Due to the extreme level of privacy, we could not view the home.

Those helping to build the safe home are also required to keep quiet.

“Anyone that we have work on the house, we have them sign a location disclosure saying that they will not reveal the address of the home,” said Bagwell. “That’s very important to us. It’s in a quiet place. We plan to blend in. We’re not going to have a shingle out saying what we are. It’s just going to be a residential home.”

Since the organization began in 2021, it has been able to help more than 30 women, which Bagwell says is huge for their coverage area.

She also has a message for women who may be on the fence about leaving their abuser.

“There is hope for you,” said Bagwell. “You are important and worthy enough to get back into a lifestyle that is safe and healthy for you and your children if you have them. We will help you. We are here for you. If you will call and talk to our advocates, we will do all that we can for you.”

Anyone wishing to donate should contact their main office at 870-955-5000, or visit their Facebook page.