County Creates Council to Coordinate Community-Wide Response to Domestic Violence


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Sept. 17, 2004

 

County Creates Council to Coordinate Community-Wide Response to Domestic Violence

 

According to a 1998 study co-sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1.5 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. And according to the U.S. Department of Justice, intimate partner violence accounted for 22 percent of the violent crimes against women in 2000, compared to 3 percent of the violent crimes against men.

While these statistics may seem alarming, Fairfax County’s new domestic violence coordinator, Seema Zeya, says “these numbers may not even reflect the true scope of the problem since most incidents of domestic violence go unreported.”

Zeya, who has over 15 years experience working on behalf of domestic violence victims in both the criminal and civil justice system, was hired last month following the Board of Supervisors’ creation of the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy and Coordinating Council. The Council is an advisory body of top level public officials and community leaders who are guiding the development of a consistent and comprehensive community-wide response to domestic violence in Fairfax County.

“Fairfax County has many services for domestic violence victims and offenders,” Zeya noted, “but the council was established to coordinate all the intervention, prevention and education efforts, from the system-based response of law enforcement, prosecution and the courts, to the community-based response of domestic violence shelters, counseling and support programs, and initiatives sponsored by the faith community, schools and healthcare providers.”

The council, which meets on a quarterly basis, is initiating its work by conducting an inventory and assessment of the current intervention system in Fairfax County to identify gaps that need to be addressed to create a coordinated community-wide response to domestic violence. In particular, the Council is examining accessibility of services and outreach to Fairfax County’s multicultural community.

“The council is committed to mobilizing the entire community,” Zeya noted. “Everyone is an important stakeholder in our response to domestic violence.” Zeya hopes to begin to focus the community’s attention on domestic violence during October, which is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is also expected to proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Fairfax County at its Sept. 27 meeting.

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a perfect time for residents to learn more about this complex issue, demonstrate their support for victims and survivors, recognize the critical work of service providers, and promote the establishment of a community-wide response,” added Zeya.

For further information on the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy and Coordinating Council, contact Seema Zeya at 703-324-7472, TTY 703-324-5628. Additional information on domestic violence may be found on the United States Department of Justice domestic violence Web page at www.usdoj.gov/domesticviolence.htm.

For free, confidential 24-hour assistance in Fairfax County, residents may contact the Fairfax County Women’s Shelter at 703-435-4940 (voice/TTY) or the Fairfax County Victims Assistance Network at 703-360-7273, TTY 703-799-8253. For domestic abuse treatment services, residents may contact ADAPT (Anger & Domestic Abuse Prevention & Treatment) at 703-968-4052 or 703-471-6096 (24-hour), TTY 703-968-4050.


FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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