According to statistics every fourth Ukrainian woman appears to be a victim of domestic violence. A great number of reported murders in Ukraine are resulting from family abuse. 50% of homeless women and children decide on living in the streets escaping from violence in their families. The numbers are shocking, aren’t they. But for many that’s just the way of life, a daily struggle for life.
One of them is Valentina, a 33 year-old mother of 6 children who was born and raised in Vyazovka village, Narodytsky district which is south-west off Zhitomir.
Valentina was a middle child in an average Ukrainian family consisting of her parents and 2 brothers. She realized what family abuse looks like after her father passed away in 1986 and her mother started living with another man. Life with a stepfather turned into a nightmare. In addition to all that her mom soon afterwards became utterly alcohol dependant. It was natural that the girl’s only desire was to leave the family as soon as possible. She was about to finish school when her dream came true and she started living with her boyfriend, finally separately from her family. Being a first year student Valentina gave birth to her 1-st child Tatyana in 2003 and made up her mind to give up her education and devote herself to the child and the man she lived with. Within the next 4 years she gave birth to 2 more daughters Alyona in 2006 and Mariya in 2007. It was the time when her cohabitee got imprisoned and Valentina was left alone with 3 kids to take care of. In a year he was released and they got married. In her new family life God blessed her with 3 sons: Sergei in 2009, Vitalii in 2011 and Maksym in 2014. Just when Valentina thought she found peace and happiness there started a new run of bad luck in her life. She learnt that her husband became a drug-addict. The situation was getting worse and worse. The woman would often get severely beaten in the presence of her children. The last drop was in 2016 when Valentina hardly survived the next family abuse after her husband had beaten her and some of their children with a hammer. She was taken to intensive care, as for her children they were taken under the wing of the social services. While she was recovering in hospital, her husband set her house on fire. It burnt to the ground. The woman and her children found themselves in a very difficult situation.
Just when there seemed to be no hope left the social services addressed our charitable foundation “Hope for everyone” with a request to take care of Valentina and her 6 children. We didn’t hesitate a minute and now Valentina is a resident of our maternity house. Praise Lord she feels better at the moment both spiritually and physically, secure and protected, her children attend school and Sunday school. The whole family attends church on Sundays and we pray for God to touch their hearts in due time. The woman is planning to finally pay off her debts she ran into while living with her husband and buy a little house where she could live with her children in peace and love.
You, dear reader, can help make her dream come true one day.