Necuvinte Association is a non-governmental organization, established in 2013 in accordance with O.G. 26/2000 on associations and foundations, in order to combat discrimination, abuse and gender-based violence.
We are members in 4 specialized national and European networks: Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE), the VOLUM Federation, the Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for Social Services (FONSS) and We break the silence about sexual violence.
Our organization has taken important steps to pave the way for other organizations. From solid partnerships with public institutions with responsibilities in preventing and combating gender-based violence, to the first national campaign and caravan “Broken Wings”, to the amendment of Law 217/2003 and the proposal to amend the Criminal Code, our organization maintains its path to profound change in the Romanian society.
Our activity focuses on 4 major directions:
- Intervention and assistance in cases of domestic violence. The services we offer are free
- Lobbying and advocacy actions
- Information and awareness campaigns and preventive education projects
- Training of specialists in the justice system and beyond
In the 7 years of activity, the financial support of our organization came 100% from partnerships with private companies, the diplomatic environment, European projects and individual donations. 0 financing from the Romanian state.
The values we are guided by are:
- Openness to the needs of the community
- Trust and confidentiality
- Human rights for all
- Equity & Equality
- Education for inclusion
- Respect for beneficiaries and partners
Gender-based violence is not a women’s issue, but a societal issue that we all need to address. We believe in sisterhood and partnerships as a way to achieve equality and equity in the society in which we live.
For our activity we have been awarded in several national and European galas:
2020 Award – The most involved NGO in promoting human rights – MAMA Awards Gala
2019 “Voice for Life” Award – Sibiu Excellence Gala
2018 European Crime Prevention Awards – EUCPN for the “Broken Wings” campaign
2018 “We learn to say STOP” Award – Public Participation Awards Gala
2018 Third Prize – Civil Society Gala “Defense of individual / collective rights” for the national campaign “Broken Wings”
2017 Public Award for the most voted volunteer coordinator of the year 2017 – National Volunteer Gala
Award – Embassy of the United States of America – Women of Courage 2017 for all activity
First Prize at the Civil Society Gala 2017 in the category “Defense of individual / collective rights” with the project “Law 217/2003 – immediate protection for victims”
2017 Diploma – Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue for transparency in public policy decision-making
2017 Award for Civic Information and Prevention from the Publishing House of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Legal and Civic Book Fair
2017 Diploma in the category of Civic Activism and Human Rights – National Volunteer Gala organized by the VOLUM Federation with the project “A life without violence – Preventive education”
Award – Title Woman of the Year 2015 awarded by Revista Avantaje for “Advocacy and prevention of violence against women”
2014 Medal – Institute for Crime Research and Prevention / Romanian Police for the support provided to the Romanian Police in the activity of crime prevention during 2014
Our organization mission is to promote the fundamental human rights, to bring justice and social change, hope and alternatives in crisis situations to all the victims of domestic violence.
With confidence and protecting the confidentiality of those that contact us, we dedicate our time and energy to educate, protect and heal the victims of domestic violence, all those who feel that their voices are not heard and have lost the hope that their lives can be different than dark and painful.
No need is too small, no voice unheard.
Our everyday guiding motto is:
”He who saves a life saves the entire world!” – Talmud
The services the we offer are free of charge.
- Guidance and counseling
- The fee for issuing forensic certificates
- Preparing files for courts
- Legal advice
- Requests for issuing protection orders
- Temporary shelter through partners
- Medical tests
2 years of Necuvinte
We just celebrated two years of activity with Necuvinte.
Two years passed since St. Nicholas 2013, when we embarked on an adventure which we could not know then how much would mark, change and transform our lives. Experiences, feelings, jams, drama, tears. Ours, of those who have asked us for help, hundreds of hugs, hundreds of “Thank you”s, emotional messages that gave us the energy and strength to continue on with what we do.
Sleepless nights followed by full days, disappointments, pain, moments of confusion followed by THEM entering our office, crying and telling us that they were raped, beaten, drowned, humiliated, all in the name of love.
This is not a presentation of numbers and statistics. We do not want to tell you that we helped Maria to free herself from an abusive environment, Ana to obtain a restriction order or that we bought another Ana a stove and shoes for her children. We will never do that. We have all these figures for accessing grants and projects. But for you, whom we consider close to us, we have a story with emotions, feelings and the strength to go on. It would be very much to tell. A lot has happened in these two years. Friends, changes, partnerships, team, fatigue, joy.
What have we learned?
We understand that we still have much to learn, but you will be the first to know about our achievements and tests.
We became less critical, more understanding with moods, feelings and the needs of the people around us, sometimes looking apparently mundane, because behind them, very often, there is hidden and untold pain.
We were reminded that there are great people around us. Women and men alike.
We saw people coming to us without a recruitment ad, when we were only two people with two laptops, full of ideas, but in a total chaos, asking us to let them help. Yes, people volunteer! Simply because they want to help. And they helped. They contributed in a fundamental way to the foundation of our organization. The first year of activity was 90% based on voluntary work and now we have an amazing team of volunteers that we wouldn’t give up for the world.
We found that institutions are made up of people. In a decisive manner. And in all those with whom we work: The Romanian Police, Bucharest General Directorate of Social Assistance, The General Directorates of Social Assistance and Child Protection, ministries, courts, hospitals, we found people who did everything and more than what they could do according to the job description, to help us help others.
We changed our opinion about certain institutions. Large institutions, that we saw as the roots of all evils in the beginning. Institutions are ultimately only cold, concrete and glass buildings. People who work in them are often People. Or maybe we were just lucky enough to meet the right people behind some administrative titles. We will see in the years to come.
We met people who were inadequate to be in the positions in which they are now, but we condemned such incidents every time and we tried not to see the “hollow tree” for the entire forest. We did not always succeed, but we continued to try to remain positive and hopeful.
We found companies that feel and believe in social responsibility and supported us in countless ways, even if we didn’t have a portfolio of projects to prove our experience, especially in the beginning, ability or desire to change things. Simply because they saw in us the desire to change and we know how we could try to achieve it.
I discovered a very active diplomatic environment in Romania, very participatory in social issues and fundamental changes.
We were also disappointed to discover that there are non-governmental organizations fighting against domestic violence that never answer the phone, mail or messages received on Facebook, coming from those to whom, in theory, they are addressed, the domestic abuse victims. Organizations that do not file complaints in defense of abused children in schools, under the teachers’ eyes, because they signed partnerships with those schools. Organizations to which we looked with admiration in the beginning.
We were glad to find non-governmental organizations fighting against domestic violence with limited resources and a few people or just volunteer work that are wonderful and fully dedicated to the cause, visible or less visible organizations.
We found extraordinary partners in organisations from various fields, such as: promoting volunteer work, human trafficking, health care, education, kids, art, environment protection etc. For some, it took us a year to discover. They feel and do what is right. Some are not promoted enough and are not directly interested in that. We see them as organisations from which we have a lot to learn, that inspire us, that have taught us how to write our first activity report, how to manage volunteers and how to plan our activities. They are our friends.
We were faced with a wall of distrust. People who have lost all hope for the better. People who find it hard to believe that someone, a total stranger, could do something, anything for them. That we will listen and understand the most profound and painful dramas, those that happen at home.
We found people working for newspapers and televisions who want to know the story, want to hear what’s going on in our society, not only in search of gossip and rating.
We have strengthened our confidence that an organization that believes in the values they promote, can change the world.
We have found that sometimes the most vocal of us are not necessarily the best in their fields, just the loudest. Not always. We know some examples of people who are energetic and vocal and perform miracles around them, not just describe them as impossible.
We were recently asked if we were to go back to December 6th, 2013 now, after two years, we would do something different.
Not! Nothing at all.
Everything that happened was a stage in the development of our organisation, that came exactly when and how it should have come. We didn’t enjoy all of them, but we are grateful for the tests we went through and to the people who have criticized us and did not believe in us. We are grateful to those who continue to do so. They help become better.
We want to thank all those who have been with us from day one, those who have joined along the way and all those who will accompany us from now on.
What do we want to achieve next? We want to continue.
To continue to grow so that we can reach more people who need information, advice, help. Continue to do violence prevention campaigns, and educational projects. We will continue in our attempts to change the laws. We will continue working with people affected by domestic violence.
Thank you all! It is you who have helped us get this far.
Simona, Alina and Andreea 2015
Founding members statement
Domestic violence is not a statistical error! Our passivity creates tragedy!
Every two days, a woman is killed in Romania because of domestic violence.
We don’t have, at this time, actual statistics that show the true magnitude of this phenomenon in Romania. Murder is the only statistic guaranteed.
Domestic violence, harassment, abuse, rape, sexual slavery, are part of a normal historical education of tens of generations when women were strictly seen as a utility, their sole role being that of procreating and doing household chores.
Less than 100 years passed since women got the right to vote and yet, in countries such as India, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in 2014 genital mutilation, stoning on behalf of barbaric beliefs and the right to life and death of the husband over the wife are still practiced.
We must learn to equally accept and respect religion, ethnic traditions and human rights, not as contradictions between them, but as natural supplements in a society that tends to normality; as religious writings tell us that it is a sin to kill, so does the Criminal Code state that domestic violence is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
From raising a gun permit from an abusive husband who was training his wife and two daughters every night, to searching for jobs, and psychological and legal counseling, we try to develop services that can help as many people as possible. A lady working at the House of Parliament, who was beaten for 20 years by her husband and who has never asked for help because she was educated to endure everything and her family would have never talked to her if she asked for help and resisted a sick ‘normality’, but now it is too late – her husband is too sick to abuse her, so “We live as God wants us to, ma’am!”
For her and hundreds of Romanian women, NGOs and state institutions must continue to fight for change. We need to implement a national emergency line to include a non-stop helpline for victims of domestic violence, we need to open more centers for abuse victims that can provide integrated services during the period of time they are accommodated by offering psychological counseling and medical services both for her and for the minors in her care, to legal assistance, retraining courses tailored to current market needs and alternative therapy to eliminate the victim label that sometimes these women remain with for a lifetime.
Romania must begin to educate boys that being a man doesn’t mean being better or superior to a woman. We are born equal, and we learn the bad and very bad differences as we grow older, from our very own families.
In an ideal world, in which we hope to live, we will be equally outraged when we hear that a child has been bullied at school, a woman accosted on the street or even abused by her own family, as when a politician of some political party makes statements that defy simple logic.
Necuvinte Team, 2013