Winter 2012 ADRA Works
In 2009, ADRA created a safe house for abused women and their children in Romania. It is one of only two shelters available for a population of more than 2 million. This shelter in some ways operates in an underground network. The women and children who are in the shelter are so abused and their lives are at such great risk from their abusers that the address of the home is kept secret. Churches, social services, and ADRA's own anti-abuse campaigns offer a hotline number for victims to reach us. While the home offers immediate shelter and support to victims in Romania, and many other countries, ADRA knows that this is not enough. And so we have antiviolence educational programs in villages, cities, and schools as well.
Rachel is a small teenage girl staying at the shelter; she cries easily and struggles with depression. The constant physical abuse of her father began when she went to high school and boys started calling her on the phone at home.
"One afternoon before Christmas, I came home from school and the house was freezing cold," Rachel says. "I put some wood in the stove to begin heating the house. My stepbrother came home and immediately accused me of wasting wood to heat the house just for me.
"The more he yelled, the more angry he became," Rachel shares. Tears stream down her face as she continues talking. "He beat me with his fists and broke my jaw. When I could stand no more, I fell on the floor of the kitchen. Then he grabbed a large piece of wood and began beating me all over my body. I think he would have killed me if my brother had not come home and stopped him. My stepbrother would not allow him to call an ambulance or the police, and when my father got home and saw the state I was in, he would not allow my brother to call anyone either, because he did not want my stepbrother to go to jail."
The ADRA Safe House shelter has been in ADRA's Really Useful Gift Catalog a number of times and is in the current 2012 edition. Donate now to help women like Rachel find safety and security when they have nowhere to go.
Rachel sustained many broken bones and was kept at home for a week without medical care. As soon as she was left alone, she made her way to a church that called the ADRA Safe House.
Most families do not welcome women when they flee an abusive home, ADRA's safe house provides a community kitchen, children's playroom, large family room, and private bedroom with bath for each guest. The ADRA Safe House allows victims to stay for two months before transitioning to other, less-secure facilities around the country. We provide counseling, medical care, legal aid, and other support services to victims for a year. A female psychologist lives at the shelter, providing much-needed daily counseling to victims and their children through one-on-one interaction, small group counseling, and art therapy. As one of only two safe houses for a population of more than 2 million people, this necessary ministry is uplifting hundreds of lives.
*The women's names have been changed to protect their safety.