Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-5730 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building, Floor 7, Suite 740
Fairfax, VA 22035
Toni Zollicoffer

Advocacy Services

exit website button circle  SAFETY ALERT – If you are in danger, call or text 911.

women huggingDomestic and Sexual Violence Services’ Advocacy Services is designed to help individuals, families, and community members impacted by domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and stalking. The main goal of Advocacy Services is to provide survivors/victims with support, information, and resources they need to make their own decisions on how to stay safe while navigating the legal system in a way that considers their past experiences. Trained advocates provide services including:

  • Direct Support: Advocates offer emotional support and crisis help for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Advocates create a safe and non-judgmental environment where survivors/victims can talk about their experiences, express their emotions, and get validation and understanding.
  • Safety Planning: Advocates and survivors/victims work together to create personalized safety plans that focus on dealing with increasing safety and finding ways to lessen risks for the survivors/victims and their dependents. Safety planning might include finding safe places, setting up ways to communicate, and getting help from available support networks.
  • Referrals: Advocates are knowledgeable about the resources and services available in the community. They share information and guide survivors/victims to the right support systems, including shelters, counseling services, legal assistance, health care providers, and other community-based organizations. Additionally, advocates work with Title IX offices to make sure survivors/victims of domestic and sexual violence that occurred in a school setting receive coordinated and complete support.
  • Emergency Shelter: Advocates offer information about emergency shelters, including details about shelters, eligibility criteria, and the process for accessing them. Advocates also provide referrals to appropriate shelters.
  • Housing: Advocates help with finding housing resources and recommend secure housing options that match the survivor’s/victim's eligibility. 
  • Other County and Community-Based Resources: Advocates connect survivors/victims to resources in the local community to provide wrap-around support that enables healing and recovery. This may involve organizations offering financial assistance, job training, educational programs, childcare services, and support groups.
  • Short-Term Case Management: Advocacy Services offers short-term case management to help survivors/victims get necessary support and resources, organized care, and navigational assistance for different systems and services. Case management may include assistance with paperwork, education about victims’ rights and needs, and assurance they get the right help at the right time.
  • Survival Needs: To help survivors/victims and their families stay safe and feel empowered, Advocacy Services has a limited pantry to meet immediate and ongoing needs. Often, survivors/victims and their families escape abusive environments with very few resources. The main goal of this pantry is to provide essential supplies during this critical transition period. It is stocked with donated items that cater to the specific needs of survivors/victims and their families, including non-perishable food items (canned goods, pasta, rice, and other long-lasting staples) and hygiene products (toiletries, diapers, feminine hygiene products, and cleaning supplies). These items promote cleanliness and well-being and help survivors/victims maintain their sense of dignity. Advocates coordinate the pantry’s use.
  • Court and Legal Advocacy: Advocates are specially trained to help survivors/victims navigate the complicated legal system. They make sure survivors/victims have the right support and understanding throughout the whole process, providing:
    • Assistance in applying for a protective order.*
    • Support during court proceedings, including accompaniment.
    • Clear explanations of court procedures.
    • Information on victim rights within the legal system.
    • Referrals to relevant programs and services.
    • Safety planning tailored to the survivor’s/victim's needs.
    • Debriefing and discussion of next steps after court proceedings.
    • Assisting with Address Confidentiality Program application.

All services are completely free and private, as allowed by the law. These services are available to people from all ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities. If needed, interpretation services are also provided. Please note a person can get help without having to take legal action.

To access Advocacy Services call: 703-246-4573. 
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. 

*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-5730 or TTY 711.

  • Artemis House: Operated by Shelter House, Artemis House is a domestic violence shelter in Fairfax County that provides emergency shelter, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy, and case-management services. Call their 24-hour hotline at 703-435-4940.
  • Bethany House is a shelter for victims fleeing domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. To determine whether a victim is eligible for shelter, call Bethany House between 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at 703-658-9500 and a staff member will complete an assessment over the phone. At the current time, Bethany House serves only women, including trans women. Victims do not have to be Fairfax County residents.
  • PetHaven: The PetHaven Program, operated through Fairfax County Animal Shelter, offers an option for short-term care for pets whose owners need to get out of a bad situation. They offer a safe place for pets quickly, so Fairfax County residents seeking safety have peace of mind to know their pets are safe, too. Contact PetHaven Program or call at 703-830-1100. 
  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia provides legal assistance and support to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. LSNV offers free legal representation, advice, and advocacy to low-income individuals facing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other related issues. Call the intake hotline at 703-778-6800 during business hours to schedule an appointment or learn more about the assistance they provide.
  • Alexandria Domestic Violence Program offers support and services to survivors of domestic violence in the City of Alexandria. They provide emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, support groups, and educational programs. Contact their 24-hour hotline at 703-746-4911.
  • Doorways for Women and Families provides comprehensive services to individuals and families experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. They offer emergency shelter, housing assistance, counseling, legal advocacy, and support groups. Call their 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 703-237-0881.
  • Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter provides comprehensive services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Loudoun County. Their services include emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, support groups, and community outreach. Their 24-hour hotline is 703-777-6552.
  • Prince William County Domestic Violence Program offers crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy, and emergency shelter to survivors of domestic violence. Their 24-hour hotline is 703-221-4951.
  • ACTS Turning Points (Action in Community Through Service) is a nonprofit organization that offers a wide range of services in Prince William County and the surrounding areas. Their Turning Points program provides emergency shelter, counseling, court advocacy, and support groups for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Their 24-hour helpline is 703-368-4141.
  • VIRGINIA’S 24/7 LGBTQ+ HELPLINE provides a free and confidential telephone service for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer or questioning callers looking for information or help regarding intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. Contact their 24- hour hotline c at 866-356-6998 or by text at 804-793-9999. Web chat also is available. 
  • Northern Virginia Family Service provides a range of services, including domestic violence intervention, counseling, legal advocacy, and emergency shelter. Programs are located throughout Northern Virginia, including Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. Their main hotline number is 703-435-4940.
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