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,

Volunteer Voices – Current Issue


Welcome to the 2022 March issue of Volunteer Voices, a monthly newsletter for current and potential Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) volunteers.

In this Issue:

Table of Contents
  • Notes from the Staff
  • Self-Care Corner: 5 Ways to Press Pause on Your To-Do List
  • Cultivating Seeds of Equity and Justice: Intersectionality and How Movements for Justice Connect
  • Ted Talk Break: “When ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’”
  • Quotables
  • Partner Spotlight: 
  • Reviews: “Maid”
  • Raising My Voice: Shiloah Kline, Hotline Volunteer
  • Birthdays
  • Educational Resources
  • Quarterly Trainings
  • Make A Note!


Notes from Staff


I’m Cecilia Herrera. I’ve been working with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services’ (DSVS) Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) office as an admin since October 2021. I really love all the work DSVS does for our community! As someone who has worked in direct service, I know that “making the call” can be very difficult for some. I hope I am doing my part by providing clients with a warm greeting and by providing general knowledge of DSVS’ services. I would love to circle back and provide direct service again, which is why I am currently a full-time student. I expect to finish my bachelor’s in social work within 2 years. 
Outside of school and work, I love keeping busy. In the last year, I’ve started Pilates classes, which I take at least three times a week. I am not by any means an athlete, simply working toward not running out of breath when walking up a flight of stairs (small achievable goals, folks!). I’m really excited to be hitting my 100th class by March! 

Cecelia Herrera

Self-Care Corner

laptop-covered-with-stickies5 Ways to Press Pause on Your To-Do List

There’s a reason you’re stressed, and it’s understandable. It’s also OK to press pause on all the busyness in your life, and you can start with these five simple tricks.

Cultivating Seeds of Equity and Justice

Intersectionality and How Movements for Justice Connect

international flag silhouette of peopleIntersectionality recognizes that we experience the world based on our unique individual identities and in the ways these identities intersect. Similarly, movements for social justice intersect because they often have similar and interrelated goals. Learn how the movement to address sexual and domestic violence emerged from the movement for gender justice. 

TED Talk Break: “When ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’”

Here's our dilemma: Consent means different things in every state. In addition, our laws are based on outdated ideas about consent. But one thing remains clear, says Joyce Short in this Ted Talk: No always means no.




“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” –Unknown 

Each newsletter will include this section to help share reviews, spotlight the people who support Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, recognize birthdays and list upcoming trainings and meetings.

Partner Spotlight

victim-services-headerVictim Services Division: Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims

The Victim Services Division (VSD), one of the Domestic Violence Action Center’s 16 partners, was formed to protect the rights of crime victims. VSD staff provides immediate and direct support to victims, their families, and witnesses who might be suffering emotionally, physically, and financially. Find out how VSD helps victims cope with trauma and the aftermath of victimization.



“Maid” (Netflix) is based on the true story of Stephanie Land (Alex) in her book, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Fleeing her alcoholic, emotionally abusive boyfriend, Sean, Alex leaves with her daughter, Maddy, in the middle of the night with an empty gas tank and $18.

Alex navigates the often-confusing Washington state social services system. She confesses during the intake process that she doesn’t think she was abused since she was not hit and did not call the police. The social worker tells her the state requires physical abuse and a police report to qualify for housing at the domestic violence shelter. According to a Ms. magazine article, “In Netflix’s ‘Maid,’ Alex is brainwashed by society to believe abuse is purely physical—so the young mom doesn’t even realize she’s a victim.” 

To qualify for subsidized housing, she needs two pay stubs, but finding a job without daycare for Maddy is difficult. Social services provides a referral to Value Maids, where she obtains employment, but she must first buy cleaning supplies and won’t get paid if the client doesn’t pay. As she buys cleaning supplies with her meager funds, viewers can see the cash register in her head as it counts down to a negative number.

While working for Value Maids, Alex cleans a move-out that was inhabited by squatters without electricity or running water. The stench and overflowing sewage cause her to doubt if she can do the job. She also cleans an upscale home on Fisher Island owned by Regina, who claims there were streaks left on the outdoor furniture and refuses to pay. And cleaning a home of a notorious burglar brings back repressed memories of hiding in a cabinet as a child while her father beat her mother. 

While Alex is working, Maddy sometimes stays with Alex’s bipolar mother Paula. Paula can be a doting grandmother at times; at other times she does not want to be tied down with a child and calls Sean to take Maddy without Alex’s consent. Without a consistent support system and often making poor choices, Alex navigates sole support of herself and her daughter, social services, and the legal system. 

Her desire for a family causes her to make questionable choices, like, holding a birthday party for Maddy at a new home, inviting Paula, Sean, and Sean’s friends. After a drunken night where Sean crashes on the landlord’s couch, Alex loses that home. She also sleeps with Sean and returns with Maddy to live with him, losing access to a car and her phone. When Alex loses custody of Maddy and disappears, Regina, the former cleaning customer, searches for the missing Alex and helps her navigate the legal system to fight for custody of Maddy. 

Even while sleeping on the ferry or in the car, Maddy feels loved and protected; this is mainly due to Alex’s positivity. It parallels The Pursuit of Happyness, based on Chris Gardner’s story of homelessness. In both stories the children knew they moved all the time, but they did not realize they were homeless because their parents’ loved them and framed their living situation as an adventure. 

At the end of the series, Maddy realizes a life-long dream and takes Maddy and Paula with her to start a new life.

“Maid” highlights the generational cycle of abuse in families and the nuances of emotional abuse or coercive control, considered a crime in only Hawaii and California. It is a must-see, especially for anyone involved with domestic abuse or social services. 

This article is written by Karen Bilak, Hotline Volunteer.

Raising My Voice

Meet Shiloah Kline, Hotline Volunteer

shiloah-kline“The best part of volunteering is giving someone a resource they need or connecting them to shelter or counseling when they need it,” says Shiloah Kline, hotline volunteer. “It is really rewarding to be able to help someone take those steps.” Learn more about Shiloah’s volunteer journey.



Maryn Hadley, 3
Stacy Riley, 9
Rachel Bazzone, 13
Susanna Ostrowski, 16
Myriam Kunzi, 21
Dianna Escobar, 26
Gabriela Pasquier, 29
Summer Cardwell, 31

Educational Resources

black gears

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

What kind of trainings are you interested in taking? Send your ideas to Tanisha Cox.


There are no quarterly trainings this month.

Make a Note!

notepad and pen

Please take a moment to log on to your Volunteer Management System (VMS) account and log your hours for the month of February. Please also log any time you spent on training under “volunteer training.” If you do not see this selection under your opportunities, please email Tanisha Cox, and she will log on to add it to your account. 

  • Please enter your hours for each day you volunteered and not as a lump sum.

  • If you need to log hours for a previous month, please email Tanisha Cox to let her know so she can be aware of the entry and expedite the approval process.

Check out past issues of Volunteer Voices.

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Fairfax Virtual Assistant