Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building, Floor 7, Suite 740
Fairfax, VA 22035

Toni Zollicoffer,

Awareness About Domestic and Sexual Violence

Action + Awareness = Social Change 

Awareness plus Action equals Social Change graphicRaising awareness calls for proactive efforts to increase knowledge of or reshape cultural norms or false perceptions about gender-based violence.

Preventing gender-based violence requires steps to stop violence and abuse from happening in the first place by interrupting the cultural rules, norms, and constructs that support it.

Social change happens when communities are equipped with a better awareness about the issue and understanding of the actions it takes to get there. This equation is solved when individuals, families, communities, and institutions have access to knowledge and tools.

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Free Trainings

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services provides a variety of trainings throughout 2022.

Participate in a Variety of Trainings

When Abuse Goes Digital flyer graphicTraining: When Abuse Goes Digital
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)

Abuse has gone digital. Today, we are spending more time online and on our devices than ever, which has created new safety risks for victims of gender-based and family violence. This prevalence of technology-enabled abuse necessitates that we prioritize physical, emotional, and digital safety of victims and their children. This training will explore practical approaches anyone working with victims can implement to recognize, address, and prevent the ways people are harmed online and via their devices. Learn how to identify digital abuse and what you can do to keep people safe. This training is free but registration is required.

Strangulation and Sexual Violence training graphicStrangulation and Sexual Violence
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)
The presenters will share their expertise on strangulation, and describe the general dangers and signs of strangulation, how to identify and support strangulation victims, and overall Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) services. This training is free but registration is required.

courageous-conversations-flier-cropped-webTraining: Courageous Conversations: Reflections and Our Work With Victims of Sexual Violence
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022
(10 a.m.-Noon)
We are often warned that our work with victims of sexual violence can cause vicarious or secondary trauma. However, have you ever asked, “How might my values, beliefs and feelings impact the work with clients?”  

This interactive, virtual training is intended for any person working with victims of sexual violence, including -- but not limited to -- rape, incest, sexual harassment, trafficking, stalking, and domestic violence. During this learning experience, participants will be introduced to a comprehensive view of sexuality and how our worldview impacts our thoughts, values, and beliefs about sexuality. 

Additionally, using a tool called the Courageous Conversations Protocol, we will examine how our worldview may impact work with clients. This professionally facilitated training is part of a research study being conducted at Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. Training participants will be invited to be interviewed by the researcher about their experience of the training and how the presented material might impact their approach to work. 

Interview participants will receive a $25 e-gift card immediately after the one-hour interview. 

This training is free, but registration is required.

tier-one-march-2022.pngTier One
Tier One is a 16-hour training on the dynamics of domestic violence, the systems that respond to those experiencing violence, and available resources in our community. The training is designed for professionals interested in learning the dynamics of domestic violence to deepen their work with clients and community members, and anyone interested in volunteering with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Please note that you must attend all eight sessions to receive a certificate of completion. This training is free, but registration is required.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 10, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 17, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 24, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022: 4- 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 31, 2022: 4-6 p.m.

Tier 2 April 2022Tier Two
Exploring Consent, Boundaries, and Healthy Sexuality with Clients Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
(10 a.m.-Noon)

Conversations about consent can be difficult, even for professionals who work with individuals, families, and communities impacted by intimate partner violence. However, we know these conversations are often crucial in supporting meaningful change in the lives of the people we serve and preventing sexual violence. This training aims to support and enhance your professional skills regarding how to engage with clients about consent, boundaries, and the connections to healthy sexuality. This training, held in conjunction with the monthly Fairfax County DV Network meeting, is free, but registration is required.

Tier 2 May 2022Tier Two
Working with Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence Panel
Thursday, May 26, 2022
(5-7 p.m.)

Immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence often face specific barriers when escaping abusive partner and family dynamics. These challenges can include specific legal issues related to their immigration status, limited economic supports, and language and cultural barriers when accessing supportive services. These and other issues put immigrant families at higher risk of domestic violence than other populations. This training is free, but registration is required.

Bystander Intervention
April 2022

In this training, we will share concrete strategies for how to distract, delegate, document, delay, or directly intervene in a way that is safe, effective, and centered on the needs of the person being targeted. Participants will leave feeling more confident intervening the next time they see someone being abused. (Date and registration information coming soon.)

May 2022

This training is for multidisciplinary professionals who want to increase their understanding of stalking and enhance their skills in working with stalking victims or offenders. It may include the following topics:

  • Stalking Prevalence, Lethality, and Impact
  • Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Stalking and Sexual Assault
  • The Use of Technology to Stalk
  • Stalking on Campus
  • Stalking Risk Assessment
  • Stalking Safety Planning
  • Working with Victims of Stalking
    (Date and registration information coming soon.)

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Topics for Your Information

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services provides select education and outreach materials to increase knowledge that helps create a future with positive relationships and safer communities.

Access Education and Outreach Materials

debra-miller-jim-person-county-conversation-teens-stalking-edited.pngCounty Conversation Podcast: Teens and Stalking—an Unfortunate Trend

Debra Miller, youth education and outreach specialist with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, discussed the growing trend of stalking among teens with County Conversation podcast host Jim Person. The pair also talked about healthy relationships and other teen programming within DSVS.

County Conversation Podcast: Housing for Victims of Gender-Based Violence
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

Finding shelter for victims of gender-based violence is more than simply finding a bed. Find out the options available for housing people who have suffered domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking on the County Conversation podcast where host Jim Person chatted with Vanessa Cullers, Housing and Economic Specialist at the Domestic Violence Action Center.

desk globe six figures represent different culturesHeritage Months
Domestic and Sexual Violence Services will provide one-page fact sheets about five heritage months throughout the year, complete with information about heritage-specific organizations working on issues around gender-based violence. Look for the following fact sheets:
February: Black History Month
May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
June: Pride
Mid-October-Mid November: Hispanic Heritage Month
November: Native American Heritage Month

Bystander Intervention Fact Sheets
Developed for middle and high school students, these fact sheets will provide helpful awareness information that goes beyond see something, say something. (More information to come.)

People with Disabilities and Gender-Based Violence
(More information to come.)

Department of Family Services Events graphic

See how Fairfax County and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services acknowledges the work the division does to raise awareness and transform the norm through a series of events.

Participate in Events and Activities

teen-panel-consent.pngTeen Panel: We'll Tell You What We Really Want to Know
Friday, March 25, 2022
(4-5:30 p.m.)
What do you wish you had learned about consent? Statistics show us that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 and these rates are higher for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Consent is giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something, and its presence is crucial in preventing sexual violence, but these statistics show we’re not getting the message clearly. So join teens from across Fairfax County on a virtual panel discussion about how adults can best communicate and model consent. This panel is free but registration is required.

Crime After Crime film poster graphic Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion: Crime after Crime
Summer 2022

Join Fairfax County Department of Family Services and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services for a special screening of “Crime After Crime,” a documentary about incarcerated domestic violence survivor Debbie Peagler’s decades-long fight for her freedom. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the criminalization of survivors of intimate partner violence, and how those survivors are often forced to defend themselves against their abuser as well as the justice system.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant