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.

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:

 Start the conversation! 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.


Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)


Contact: Nicole Acosta, Fairfax County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator, Office: (703) 324-9494, Cell: (571) 215-2429

Community Events & Resources:

Information & Intake Line: (703) 246-4573

Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

The Department of Family Services' Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services offers compassionate and comprehensive state-accredited programs for women, men, teens and children who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.



24-hour Hotline: (703) 360-7273

League of Women Voters of Fairfax Studies with Domestic Violence Focus








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.

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


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 was 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.