(Posted 2022 November)
Domestic and Sexual Violence Services works with communities to transform society’s response to domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and stalking by challenging oppression, collaborating to inform policy, and providing everybody impacted by violence with equitable access to trauma-informed support, advocacy, education, and a space for healing.
Interpersonal violence is a serious, preventable health problem affecting more than 30 million Americans every year. There is substantial unmet demand for services because of staffing shortages and resource constraints. Like many human services industries across the country, domestic and sexual violence programs are also suffering from what has been dubbed as "the great resignation.” Agencies continuously face challenges of recruiting, training, and retaining professionals skilled in working with people impacted by interpersonal violence. Attracting and retaining professionals to careers that require emotional investment and compassionate care can be difficult, particularly after the long hard winter called covid-19. In addition, the perceptions people hold about government jobs as being too bureaucratic or not very rewarding haven’t done the field any favors in enticing staff.
Within the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, vacancy rates for staff in DSVS have been hovering around 10%, with some positions having gone unfilled for six months or more. These vacancies create a strain on staff and make it difficult to serve clients as effectively as we’d like. We also know creating meaningful opportunities for self-care is key to effective service delivery. So, it can be challenging to balance the needs of staff with the overwhelming needs of the community.
Those challenges aside, people who work in this field typically have a commitment to helping create safe homes and safer communities. They do the work because they want to be a part of the journey victims and survivors of interpersonal violence take to find safety and heal. They want those who cause harm to be held accountable for their actions and to learn new behaviors that no longer jeopardize the safety and well-being of others. People doing this work find it meaningful and rewarding. Below are the top 5 reasons to work with us in Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.