FBI Charlotte
Public Affairs Specialist Shelley Lynch
March 15, 2024

Human Trafficking Victim Support Agency Wins FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

The FBI Charlotte Field Office is pleased to announce “Beloved Haven” as the recipient of the 2023 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for North Carolina. Beloved Haven is a human trafficking victim support agency in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt presented a certificate for the DCLA to the agency’s founder Tina Pennington on March 14 at the Pasquotank County Public Safety Building. Pennington and her team will join award recipients from across the country at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., with FBI Director Christopher Wray on April 19.

Charlotte DCLA 2024
FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt and Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten II present Tina Pennington with the certificate for the DCLA award.

“Beloved Haven” demonstrates an unwavering devotion to helping human trafficking survivors. Members develop personal and long-lasting relationships with victims to help them reclaim their lives. They help survivors with immediate needs such as housing and clothing, but also provide job training and help victims get important documents like social security cards and birth certificates.

"Human trafficking can happen in any community. FBI special agents and victims’ assistance specialists take a victim-center approach working alongside non-governmental agencies to break the cycle of violence and control. 'Beloved Haven' is a valuable partner who works tirelessly to educate their community, equip victims with information and services and to empower them to rebuild their lives," said Robert M. DeWitt, the FBI special agent in charge in North Carolina.   

Since 1990, through the DCLA, the FBI has publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations who go above and beyond the call to service by making extraordinary contributions to their communities in the areas of terrorism, cyber, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education.

Learn more about FBI Charlotte’s Community Outreach Program