Making Democracy Work

Domestic Violence Awareness

Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in Fairfax County

Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in Fairfax County

Domestic violence is a serious issue in our County and in our country. It cuts across every social and economical strata and every citizen needs to be aware of it. That "perfect family" living next door to you can be undergoing serious, long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse that is not seen by neighbors and friends. The public needs to be sensitive to this issue; if someone suspects any abuse they should report it and not be influenced or blinded by the family's position in the community.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Letter to the Editor of the Fairfax Times in October 2016.

Boys and Girls Generally Respond Differently to Exposure to Domestic Violence

Boys and Girls Generally Respond Differently to Exposure to Domestic Violence by Barbara Nunes, Domestic Violence Committee Chair and Adarsh Trehan, a Committee Member

In the May 2016 Fairfax VOTER, LWVFA studied, Mental Health + Overview of the Community Services Board and Diversion First Program. There was a listing of the effects of domestic violence (DV) on children, including the staggering number of children affected by DV each year. The Domestic Violence Roundtable located in Sudbury, Mass., states that "Studies show that 3-4 million children between 3 and 17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year." The effects of domestic violence, however, can vary by gender.

For more, read here.

Child Abuse and its Effects

Child Abuse and Its Effects on Children by Barbara Nunes, LWVFA Domestic Violence Committee Chair and Adarsh Trehan, LWVFA Committee Member

At our General Meeting on Sunday, November 20, 2016, our guest Speaker will be Michele Thames, Executive Director, SafeSpot Children's Advocacy Center of Fairfax County. SafeSpot's mission is "to provide a centralized, family-friendly location for the investigation of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse allegations, bringing together law enforcement, child protective services, and other critical professionals to minimize the number of times a child has to describe the abuse." In preparation for her talk, the Domestic Violence Committee would like to provide you with some information on child abuse and the effects it has on children.

Click here to read the article on Child Abuse and its Effects

Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in Fairfax County

Domestic Violence: Did You Know?

Did you know that two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem and yet just more than 1 in 3 have ever talked about it?*

The same 2014 national survey also found:

  • Domestic violence is seen as more serious by African-Americans (78 percent) and Hispanics (68 percent), than White non-Hispanics (64 percent). o African-Americans (51 percent) and Hispanics (46 percent) are talking about domestic violence more than White non-Hispanics (33 percent).

  • More than half (54 percent) of parents have never discussed domestic violence with their children. This ranked far behind other topics that are more commonly discussed including safe driving (85 percent), avoiding alcohol and drugs (84 percent), dangers of smoking (80 percent), keeping personal finances secure (70 percent), healthy eating (70 percent) and sex education (68 percent).

  • Most Americans (58 percent) agree that the news media and entertainment industry have a responsibility to shed light on domestic violence, yet 3 in 4 believe (77 percent) they are not discussing it enough and are inaccurately portraying it (73 percent).

Given the recent national dialogue on the issue, hopefully these statistics will improve. However, it's up to each of us to raise awareness on the prevalence, dynamics, and impact of domestic violence on individuals and families in our community.

  • The Allstate Foundation Silent Weapon: Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse; FYI Consulting; July 2014

What can we do?

 Use social media to spread the word! Post or tweet responsible media articles on the subject or simple facts about the issue. Find sample posts and tweets like these each day in the DVAM Did you Know? this month:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Did you know that two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence in a serious problem and yet just more than 1 in 3 have ever talked about it? Visit http://purplepurse.com/trends/ for warning signs and tips for starting the conversation today! For help, call Fairfax County's 24-hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.

#DVAM #DYK? 2/3 of Americans believe #domesticviolence is a serious problem yet only 1 in 3 talk about it #NoMoreViolence #FairfaxCounty

 Start the conversation! Fairfax County is joining providers from across the DC region today for a Metro Day of Action, distributing materials and starting conversations with passengers at all WMATA metro stations.

Even if you can't staff a metro station today, you can be a safe person for a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker to talk to about healthy relationships or to discuss violence in their relationship:  Talking to Your Kids  What to say when you think someone is being abused  What to say if you suspect someone is using abusive behavior

Sandy Bromley, JD Fairfax County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator Office: (703) 324-9494 Cell: (571) 215-2429 Community Events & Resources: www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org

Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) Web: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/domesticviolence/dvac/ Information & Intake Line: (703) 246-4573

Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Web: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ofw 24-hour Hotline: (703) 360-7273

Domestic Violence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County

Domestic Violence: Did you know that domestic violence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County?

We are fortunate to live and work in a safe community, with an extremely low homicide rate and proactive public safety efforts. However, each year, about half of the homicides in the county involve domestic violence.

Reviews of the county's 2009 and 2010 domestic violence-related homicides revealed:

  • 60% involved a firearm as the fatal agent
  • 57% of the offenders had threatened to kill the victim prior to the murder
  • 53% of the homicides occurred following separation or termination of the relationship (break-up)
  • 33% of the victims had experience prior domestic violence victimization

These and other lethality indicators can help us better identify cases at most risk of lethality. Within the next year, our domestic violence community will be implementing lethality assessment tools system-wide in order to better predict and prevent domestic violence-related homicides in our community. Sources: Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports What can we do?  Get Educated!  Explore the 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports of the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team

Review the 2012 Family and Intimate Partner Homicide Report from the Virginia Department of Health [For comparison purposes, the county's team reviews intimate partner and intimate partner-associated homicides (pages 7-12).]

Read the White House's Fact Sheet on The Obama Administration's Commitment to Reducing Domestic Violence Homicides

 For more information on the two programs featured on the fact sheet, visit:

 Use social media to spread the word!  DVAM: Did you know that domestic violence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County? DV-related homicides are predictable and preventable. Please help spread the word that services and support are available. For help, call Fairfax County's 24-hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.

 DYK Domestic violence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County? Help is available: 703-360-7273 (24 hr) #DVAM