Counseling Services


Free, short-term individual and group counseling for children, teens, women, and men and their family members who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

What Does Counseling Involve?

At no cost to you, a trained counselor will listen to you without judging you and help you with healing, safety, and other issues related to your experiences with domestic and/or sexual violence. You can receive up to 10 weekly individual counseling sessions. The counselor will also help you find other services and resources to meet your needs.

You may also participate in group counseling. Groups run for 8 to 10 sessions and include peer support and education.

  • Women’s Domestic Violence Group – Support and education to understand domestic violence and promote safety and healing. A children’s group is also available at the same time and place.
  • Children Matter! – Held at the same time as the women’s domestic violence group. Support and education for children who have had domestic violence in their homes and families. There are separate groups for children and teens of different ages.
  • Trauma Survivors’ Coping Skills Group – Teaching women who have been sexually abused or had other trauma to manage unpleasant emotions, gain a sense of security, and learn to thrive.
  • Men’s Survivors’ Group – Support for men who want to understand and heal from sexual abuse they experienced in childhood.

Call 703-324-5730; TTY 703-324-5706 to request an appointment with a trained counselor. English and Spanish-speaking counselors are available. We also provide interpreters for other languages.

Who Is Eligible?

  • You or a family member must have experienced domestic or sexual violence or stalking.
  • You must live in, work in, or have been abused or assaulted in Fairfax County or the Cities of Fairfax or Falls Church. (The Men’s Survivor Group does not require residency for participation.)
  • Children are eligible for individual counseling services.
  • Because counseling is short-term, it is not a good fit for:
    • People with a serious mental illness without other psychiatric care or if the condition could make our services unhelpful or harmful;
    • People in other counseling or treatments that could duplicate or conflict with our services unless services are coordinated;
    • People with a history of sexual abuse by a parent or family member (incest).

Where Do I Go For Counseling?

You can meet with us in one of many locations throughout Fairfax County. When you call to request counseling, the counselor who works closest to your zip code will contact you.

How Long Is The Wait For Services?

Our goal is to return your call within one working day. To help us provide our services without delay, please call back promptly if you receive a voice message from us. Counseling can start within a few weeks or sooner from the time you speak with a counselor. Depending on demand, there might be a longer wait at a particular site.

How Do I Recognize Violence?

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can put the victim and family in serious danger, whether it occurs rarely under specific circumstances or whether it involves a continuous pattern of behaviors intended to control, intimidate, and isolate the victim. Men and women can be victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence and their children often develop low self-esteem, anxiety, and secrecy, either out of fear of retaliation from the abuser or out of being made by the abuser to feel somehow responsible for the abuse. Victims of domestic violence deserve to know that they have a variety of options and supports available to them and that they do not need to tolerate the abuse. Victims have the right to safety and even certain legal protections. Domestic violence may include:

  • Abuse by a spouse, household member, romantic partner, or ex
  • Physical attacks (like hitting, choking, or throwing things)
  • Psychological abuse (like insults, yelling, humiliation, or mind games)
  • Threats (to harm or kill you, children, pets, or self—even if it was vague)
  • Controlling (making orders or leaving you out of decisions)
  • Isolating (limiting your contact with friends and family)
  • Withholding access to joint assets (like money, keys, car, phone/web, or food)
  • Harming pets or property
  • Using children as a way to control you
  • Extreme jealousy, religious domineering, extreme criticism, or sabotage

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence can take many forms and is not limited to rape (penetration). The perpetrator need not be a stranger. Sexual assault and rape can be committed by an acquaintance, a romantic partner, or a spouse. Any unwanted sex acts constitute sexual assault and are a crime. It is normal for a victim of sexual assault to feel embarrassed and afraid, and it can be hard to tell someone about it. Victims deserve to be believed and protected. They have the right to a free emergency hospital exam whether or not they involve police. They have the right to legal protection and sometimes compensation. Emotional problems stemming from sexual abuse sometimes emerge much later and can persist and worsen if not treated. With counseling, many sexual violence survivors experience improvement.

Stalking

Stalking is a pattern of conduct (however brief or prolonged) that causes another person some degree of fear. It can involve repeated unwanted contact, surveillance, vandalism, threats, or attempts to hurt the victim’s personal or professional reputation or relationships. In some cases stalking can escalate to present a danger to the victim. Legal protections are available to victims of stalking. Victims of stalking can also receive help ensuring their safety.

Additional Services Include:

  • 24-hour Hotline (domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking)
    Interpreters are available for hotline calls in any language 703-360-7273; TTY 703-435-1235.
  • Artemis House
    Emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors and their families 703-435-4940; TTY 703-435-1235.
  • Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)
    Advocacy center serving those affected by domestic violence and stalking; DVAC is located at the Fairfax County court complex 703-246-4573; TTY 711.
  • ADAPT (Anger Domestic Abuse Prevention and Treatment) *Fees are associated with this program.
    Batterer Intervention Program for those who commit domestic violence 703-968-4052; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Mujeres Transformando Vidas
    Educational group in Spanish for women, offered at several Family Resource Centers in Fairfax County 703-324-9483; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Housing/Economic Specialist
    Provides information for people affected by domestic violence who need help finding housing and employment 703-324-2842; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Children’s Services
    Provides information and resources for children impacted by domestic or sexual violence 703-324-8730; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Court Specialist
    Provides information about survivors’ legal rights and assistance accessing legal resources and the court system 703-246-3451; TTY 711.
  • Community Outreach and Education
    Presentations to adults, teens, and children in various community settings 703-324-5730; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Compassion Training for Couples in Conflict
    A workshop for couples experiencing conflict in their relationship who are looking for peaceful, cooperative solutions 703-324-9484; TTY 703-324-5706

How You Can Help:

  • Become a volunteer! We have a large team of committed volunteers who co-lead survivors’ and offenders’ groups, take crisis calls, accompany survivors for forensic nurse examinations, help with education and outreach programs, and provide administrative office assistance. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 703-324-9495; TTY 703-324-5706.
  • Counseling and batterer intervention internships are available for Master’s-level students in counseling, psychology, and social work.
  • We welcome professionals and organizations that serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence to contact us for consultation. We are committed to a coordinated community response to violence.

For group or individual counseling,
call

703-324-5730;

TTY 703-324-5706

to request an appointment
with a trained counselor.


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