Department of Family Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-7500 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035
Michael A. Becketts

Be a Support System to Loved Ones Affected by Domestic and Sexual Abuse

(Posted 2020 May; Update 2023 June)

As a family member or friend, there are many things you can do to support someone who is being abused.

Call the Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline 703-360-7273 to learn how. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911.

  • two people sitting side-by-side outside by the waterS - Spend time listening. Find out the safest way and best times to contact them and make sure you are available for them.
  • U - Utilize resources. Look for resources and offer to help make calls when they are ready.
  • P - Plan for safety. Talk about safety planning at home. Go to WomensLaw for more information on this topic.
  • P - Prepare to challenge your own beliefs. Instead of asking “Why?” ask “How can I help?”
  • O - Offer what you can. Provide a safe place to stay, financial help, or just somewhere they can store copies of important documents.
  • R - Remind them of their strengths. Tell them they are strong and can get through hard times with courage and resiliency.
  • T - Tell them you believe them. Believe them, let them know they can trust you and remind them the abuse is not their fault.

Learn more about the Department of Family Services' Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

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