On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, the women hosted at the Center for Emergency Reception of Victims of Family Violence - ADRA House, known as Casa ADRA, in Bucharest, Romania, along with the center’s staff, celebrated a decade of fighting against domestic violence. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) president Jonathan Duffy and his wife, Cathy, took part in the 10th-anniversary celebration.
“The topic of victims of domestic violence is a sad one, but after seeing this project we can say that not everything is bad, thanks to the hope it gives and the activities it offers,” Jonathan Duffy said. “It is a joy that there are good people who take a stand by being next to these ladies and these helpless children.”
Duffy added, “This shelter is special and precious, and it must continue its work.” He explained that in the past decade, almost 900 people have been housed in the facilities. “It is sad to think that there are 900 victims of domestic violence, but I am grateful that ADRA Romania has found an experienced team that has given them hope, safety, and blessings,” Duffy said. “It is a place where they can renew their life and where they can rediscover human dignity.”
ADRA Romania executive director Robert Georgescu thanked the Duffys for being part of the celebrations.
“We are glad and honored by your presence,” Georgescu told them. “Casa ADRA is more than a center; it is a place where victims of domestic violence stop on their way to a peaceful life after years of humiliation, suffering, and fear. Together we can offer them a chance for a new start in life.”
ADRA Romania representative for the Muntenia and Dobrogea regions, Gabriel Işvan, explained the biblical rationale for the center.
“I think that to the list of ministries for those in need, as described by the Founder of Christianity in Matthew 25, we can add help given to the helpless victims of domestic violence. The support received from ADRA International for the operation of Casa ADRA means a lot to the beneficiaries in the center, and we see how fulfilled promises change lives,” Işvan said.
ADRA Romania’s resident psychologist, Claudia Andrei, agreed. “Like every year, it was a joy to celebrate women’s day with dignified, brave, and strong ladies who want a better life both for them and for their children,” she said. “Their appreciation towards our efforts and services gives us the courage to go on.”
ADRA Romania has been managing Casa ADRAsince 2009. Its aim is the social reintegration of victims of domestic violence by providing them with shelter, social counseling, psychological counseling, emergency medical assistance, food, and help to find a lawyer. Leaders said that the lives of the women housed in the center have been changed because they have experienced a different way of living their lives — without physical, verbal, economic, psychological, sexual, or religious violence, relying on spiritual values and cultivating healthy eating, exercising, training, and recreational habits.
ADRA Romania’s accreditation for the social services provided at Casa ADRA was renewed in 2016 according to new national standards. Since it opened ten years ago, the center has assisted more than 2,240 victims of domestic violence, with 896 of them accommodated within the premises.