Abuse survivors create handcrafted jewelry from reclaimed auto parts to heal

Mend On The Move helps women build confidence after troubles

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - Abuse victims often have their stories shared, but many times it's unclear what happens next for the survivors.

There's an eye-opening program that helps survivors of abuse turn their lives around. Mend On The Move sells handcrafted jewelry that's created by women who survived abuse and addiction and found the courage to begin again.

Local 4's Karen Drew was allowed inside a work session at a home in Detroit. The women are still hiding from their abusers, but wanted to share their stories.

When Karen visited on a Thursday morning, the women were hard at work in their secret location, making handcrafted jewelry from reclaimed auto parts.

"We have women here that have been through, you know, sexual exploitation, child abuse, domestic violence," Joanne Ewald said.

Ewald is the creator of Mend On The Move. She brings the auto parts to the women and they work together twice a week. It's part business and all confidence building.

"We're really not focused so much on where our women have been," Ewald said. "We're focused on where they're going. It's mending broken families and relationships."

Dawn Wood, 45, is a mother of five. She was a crack addict for 24 years and is now clean. She's been working for Mend On The Move for over a year.

"I feel like I can work for what I'm earning instead of just having it handed to me," Wood said. "It makes me feel good."

Their pieces of jewelry are sold at events. Last year, the group sold $45,000 worth of jewelry.

"We're growing, and I really believe why it's resonating with people is because it's so many women out there that have experienced abuse themselves and haven't shared it or have not dealt with it," Ewald said.

The hope of the women and Mend On The Move is to increase awareness of the injustices that silence and hold woman captive. They want those who wear their jewelry to share their story of survival.

Ewald wants to use a mobile jewelry making van to travel to different shelters and homes where she can employ the women and give them a new life.

For more information about Mend On The Move, click here to visit its website.

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