Moscow, March 3, 2015
A center for assistance to women in difficult life situations opened on March 4 at the dependency of the Novospassky Stavropegic Monastery with the Church of Holy Archangel Michael in the Milyukovo village, reports Miloserdie.ru. The center will mostly give aid to women who became victims of domestic violence. Such shelters are not yet common in Russia, though a need exists.
The first two women with their children are already living in the new center – it has been working in a “test mode” for one month and a half. The two-storied building is complete and can accommodate up to eight adults with children (in extreme cases two more women can use folding beds).
“Basically our center is intended for women with residence permits in Moscow or the Moscow region, but each case will be considered individually,” related Alena Sadikova, head of the “Kitezh” independent nonprofit organization and of the new center, to Miloserdie.ru. “On the recommendation of other public organizations we work with the woman’s employer; we can temporarily admit someone with another residence permit, provided the recommending organization will participate in the charge’s future. But we do not take anybody “from the street.” Religion cannot be an obstacle – we admit everyone who needs help. We also admit women to the consulting room at the Novospassky Monastery.”
Women do their own cooking and cleaning and take care of themselves; they are aided with food, medicines and transit fare – all provided by donors. An individual rehabilitation plan is worked out for each woman with the participation of a psychologist and a social worker; adherence to the plan is kept under control. The center cooperates with the city psychological aid service. Over the time spent in the center a woman is expected to recover and return to independent life. Only in an exceptional case can a woman prolong her stay in Milyukovo up to half a year.
On the day of the solemn opening of the center Father-Superior of the Novospassky Monastery Bishop Savva (Sabbas) of Voskresensk was to serve the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at the dependency. The Liturgy was to be followed by a tour round the center, a presentation of plans for development of social activities and tea.
Improvements to the grounds are expected soon; this will include asphalting and paving of paths, building of a children’s playground, planting of trees and shrubs.