by Sue Volpe
The nature of our ministry focuses on orphaned young ladies that become pregnant, so sometimes I am oblivious to other injustices right around me. As I have shared before it is almost impossible for a single mom to survive here because of the poor economy, as well as limited and costly child care. This causes thousands of women stay in abusive relationships. When I returned from the States, our residential apartment was empty and we were praying for whoever God would bring. On December 21st, we got a call asking if we could accept a woman that was being beaten by her common law husband. Although she was not an orphan, it was clear that we should step in. After the call, our pastor and another man from our church went to pick her up and bring her to a safe place. When they arrived they quickly called the police to intervene because the husband had taken away her phone and was trying to prevent her from leaving. The police did their jobs, but not without saying: “you shouldn’t leave” and “you can’t make it on your own.” She was a 30-year-old Phillipino immigrant with an almost one year old. We quickly searched for options that would allow her to stay in Europe if he filed to absolve their union. After a couple of weeks, she started to believe that he had changed and went back to him despite our concerns. We sent her off with a burner phone and some money to hide in case of an emergency. Yet, we still lost contact with her. All the methods we used to reach her have failed. We know statistically abusers don’t change just at their word.
BBC reported in May of 2017 that “The court fined the country after it failed to hold to account a man who attacked his wife eight times.” And “But ‘the overall unresponsiveness of the judicial system and the impunity enjoyed by aggressors, as found in Ms Balșan’s case, indicated that there had been insufficient commitment’ to enforcing them, the court noted.”
In November 2018 Romanian Insider reported. “A total of 36,245 cases of domestic violence had been reported to the police in 2017… By comparison, in the first ten months of this year, a total of 32,696 such crimes were reported.” I have always been aware that only about 25% of women report the assaults, but in this culture I would think it is more because there are so few places for these women to go. We hope that we can do more in these situations. Please pray with us for wisdom and direction in this area.