The Women’s Association of Sibiu is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization founded in 1996 at the initiative of a group of women who proposed the promotion of social and educational projects supporting women and children who were victims of domestic violence.
The aim of our Association is to participate in the social development of the community in the city of Sibiu by promoting psychological and social assistance for socially disadvantaged people.
In 2007 the Women’s Association of Sibiu opened a shelter for victims of domestic violence with the support of the Norwegian Women and Family Association. Its goal is to provide services to prevent, monitor and counter domestic violence in order to increase the quality of life of women who had suffered abuse in the family. In the shelter we receive women and their under aged children who have been victims of domestic violence, irrespective of nationality or ethnic, political or religious affiliations.
For the duration of their stay in the shelter, the victims receive psychological and social support, legal advice, guidance and relevant information and we support them in various situations, depending on the individual needs of each victim. At the same time, under the guidance of the staff and volunteers in the shelter, we encourage women to participate in various activities of occupational therapy in order to develop skills necessary for an independent life and for the upbringing of their children. Concurrently the children are supervised and assisted to participate in activities suitable to their age and development.
For victims who have no financial resources the shelter provides them and their children with the necessary material support as far as our resources allow. In this way we support their effort to overcome their crisis situation.
The shelter also gives support to socially disadvantaged persons outside the shelter. This consists of psychological and legal assistance or we provide clothes and shoes. In this way we try to bring a glimmer of hope into the souls of these victims, who ask us for help.
The beneficiaries of our social services make objects in the shelter which are afterwards sold on the Bio Market organized by the Protestant Church in Sibiu, on the Christmas Market and Easter Market or as often as we have the opportunity. These are for example knitted, crocheted and sewn things as teddy bears, aprons, hand bags, shopping bags, book marks, cards for different occasions, pot holders, brooches, soft toys, scarves, caps, waistcoats, jumpers for children or small decorations.
Since the opening of the shelter in 2007 the Women’s Association has received many visits from Norway, Germany, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Finland. The visitors have been pleasantly surprised by the work done by our Association and at the shelter and impressed by the results achieved in helping the women and their children.
The Women’s Association of Sibiu has been a member since 1997 of ACWW / Associated Country Women of the World with its headquarter in London. This is a great honor for us. The projects we have run with ACWW support have provided ongoing impetus for the continuation of our activities, enabling us thereby to support the women and their children who are always happy to learn new things.
The members of Women’s Association of Sibiu have also participated regularly since 2009 at the meetings of the Social Network “Sibiu Social” founded at the initiative of the German institution “EVA-Stuttgart” in cooperation with the Protestant Church in Sibiu. There we discuss methods of cooperation and intervention for socially disadvantaged persons.
These are only some of the activities our Association and the shelter carry on in order to support the community in Sibiu and victims of domestic violence in both Sibiu and the country.
In our opinion the initial purpose for the opening of this shelter has been achieved, as proven by the women and their children who have benefited from the services offered in the shelter. They were able to overcome their crisis situation, regain their self- confidence and take the necessary decisions to become independent of their attacker and to reintegrate themselves into the community.
In this way I am convinced our effort has been well worthwhile.
President of the Women’s Association from Sibiu