In November 2020, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) renewed its operating license for the social service called “Emergency Reception Center for Victims of Domestic Violence.”
The shelter, located in Bucharest, enables women to escape abusive relationships by providing accommodations, food, emergency medical care, psychological counseling, social counseling, and guidance to a lawyer.
“ADRA House is a place where abused women and children begin a new path and regain their human dignity,” Robert Georgescu, executive director for ADRA in Romania, said. “We are glad that we can offer a warm, inviting, family atmosphere where professionals offer concrete help and solutions adapted to individual needs.”
The services offered by ADRA House are needed now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the work and school cycle, creating additional stress on families. As soon as the global health crisis began, the center experienced a surge of cases, doubling the usual amount.
Domestic violence was largely ignored during the Communist era. It is now being addressed socially and legally, thanks to the Council of Europe, which aims to “prevent violence, [provide] victim protection, and end the impunity of perpetrators.” Domestic violence in Romania is a cycle that ADRA is working to break through education and public awareness.
“Obtaining the new accreditation and license is much more than the work of a team to align the services with the new legislation in the field. It is about taking on work in a difficult field, where the mentality of aggressor and victim is quite well grounded in our consciousness as people,” Valentina Sturzu-Cozorici, ADRA’s project manager in Romania, said.
The five-year contract is considered a stamp of approval for the assistance ADRA House has provided to more than 2,300 victims of domestic violence, of which 950 have received accommodations. ADRA House was first established in 2009.
“Many of the beneficiaries’ lives have been changed because they experienced a different way of life; without physical, verbal, economic, mental, sexual, and religious violence, based on spiritual values and cultivating healthy habits, exercise, training, and recreation,” Sturzu-Cozorici adds.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief.