Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building, Floor 7, Suite 740
Fairfax, VA 22035

Toni Zollicoffer,

Awareness About Domestic and Sexual Violence

Action + Awareness = Social Change 

Awareness plus Action equals Social Change graphicRaising awareness calls for proactive efforts to increase knowledge of or reshape cultural norms or false perceptions about gender-based violence.

Preventing gender-based violence requires steps to stop violence and abuse from happening in the first place by interrupting the cultural rules, norms, and constructs that support it.

Social change happens when communities are equipped with a better awareness about the issue and understanding of the actions it takes to get there. This equation is solved when individuals, families, communities, and institutions have access to knowledge and tools.

Department of Family Services Training graphic

Free Trainings

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services provides a variety of trainings throughout 2022.

Participate in a Variety of Trainings

Tier One DV Training October-web.png

Tier One
Saturdays, Oct. 22 & 29, 2022
(8-5 p.m.)
Tier One is a 16-hour training on the dynamics of domestic violence, the systems that respond to those experiencing violence, and available resources in our community. The training is designed for professionals interested in learning the dynamics of domestic violence to deepen their work with clients and community members, and anyone interested in volunteering with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Please note that you must attend both in-person sessions to receive a certificate of completion. This training is free, but registration is required.

Tier 2 September 2022

Tier Two: Understanding the Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on LGBTQIA+ Survivors and Communities
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022
(1-2:30 p.m.)
LGBTQIA+ people are at a disproportionate risk of experiencing intimate partner violence in their lifetime compared to those who identify as heterosexual and cisgender. In addition to higher rates of victimization, isolation experienced by LGBTQIA+ survivors as a result of sexual and domestic violence can be amplified by a lack of safe, comprehensive, and welcoming services. Presented by the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, this training will discuss LGBTQ+ terminology, how professionals can provide culturally relevant and trauma-informed support for LGBTQIA+ survivors, and how to advocate for clients experiencing stigma when accessing other resources. This webinar is free, but registration is required.

Tier 2 June 2022Tier Two
Serving Male-Identified Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)
While data continue to show girls and women are disproportionately impacted by intimate partner violence, boys and men can also experience victimization and deserve holistic and survivor-centered services. Male-identified survivors of intimate partner violence face unique barriers in accessing services and disclosing their victimization. This webinar will discuss the dynamics of intimate partner violence with male victims and how they can be shaped by social norms around gender and masculinity. It will explore some of the barriers faced by male-identified victims/survivors; increase understanding of challenges for service providers working with male survivors and identify new collaborations to improve services to this population. This webinar is free, but registration is required. 

Tier 2 May 2022Tier Two
Working with Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence Panel
Thursday, May 26, 2022
(5-7 p.m.)

Immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence often face specific barriers when escaping abusive partner and family dynamics. These challenges can include specific legal issues related to their immigration status, limited economic supports, and language and cultural barriers when accessing supportive services. These and other issues put immigrant families at higher risk of domestic violence than other populations. This training is free, but registration is required.

Tier 2 April 2022Tier Two
Exploring Consent, Boundaries, and Healthy Sexuality with Clients Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
(10 a.m.-Noon)

Conversations about consent can be difficult, even for professionals who work with individuals, families, and communities impacted by intimate partner violence. However, we know these conversations are often crucial in supporting meaningful change in the lives of the people we serve and preventing sexual violence. This training aims to support and enhance your professional skills regarding how to engage with clients about consent, boundaries, and the connections to healthy sexuality. This training, held in conjunction with the monthly Fairfax County DV Network meeting, is free, but registration is required.

tier-one-march-2022.pngTier One
Tier One is a 16-hour training on the dynamics of domestic violence, the systems that respond to those experiencing violence, and available resources in our community. The training is designed for professionals interested in learning the dynamics of domestic violence to deepen their work with clients and community members, and anyone interested in volunteering with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Please note that you must attend all eight sessions to receive a certificate of completion. This training is free, but registration is required.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 10, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 17, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Thursday, March 24, 2022: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022: 4- 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 31, 2022: 4-6 p.m.

courageous-conversations-flier-cropped-webTraining: Courageous Conversations: Reflections and Our Work With Victims of Sexual Violence
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022
(10 a.m.-Noon)
We are often warned that our work with victims of sexual violence can cause vicarious or secondary trauma. However, have you ever asked, “How might my values, beliefs and feelings impact the work with clients?”  

This interactive, virtual training is intended for any person working with victims of sexual violence, including -- but not limited to -- rape, incest, sexual harassment, trafficking, stalking, and domestic violence. During this learning experience, participants will be introduced to a comprehensive view of sexuality and how our worldview impacts our thoughts, values, and beliefs about sexuality. 

Additionally, using a tool called the Courageous Conversations Protocol, we will examine how our worldview may impact work with clients. This professionally facilitated training is part of a research study being conducted at Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. Training participants will be invited to be interviewed by the researcher about their experience of the training and how the presented material might impact their approach to work. 

Interview participants will receive a $25 e-gift card immediately after the one-hour interview. 

This training is free, but registration is required.

Strangulation and Sexual Violence training graphicStrangulation and Sexual Violence
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)
The presenters will share their expertise on strangulation, and describe the general dangers and signs of strangulation, how to identify and support strangulation victims, and overall Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) services. This training is free but registration is required.

When Abuse Goes Digital flyer graphicTraining: When Abuse Goes Digital
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)

Abuse has gone digital. Today, we are spending more time online and on our devices than ever, which has created new safety risks for victims of gender-based and family violence. This prevalence of technology-enabled abuse necessitates that we prioritize physical, emotional, and digital safety of victims and their children. This training will explore practical approaches anyone working with victims can implement to recognize, address, and prevent the ways people are harmed online and via their devices. Learn how to identify digital abuse and what you can do to keep people safe. This training is free but registration is required.

Bystander Intervention
Fall 2022

In this training, we will share concrete strategies for how to distract, delegate, document, delay, or directly intervene in a way that is safe, effective, and centered on the needs of the person being targeted. Participants will leave feeling more confident intervening the next time they see someone being abused. (Date and registration information coming soon.)

This training is for multidisciplinary professionals who want to increase their understanding of stalking and enhance their skills in working with stalking victims or offenders. It may include the following topics:

  • Stalking Prevalence, Lethality, and Impact
  • Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
  • Stalking and Sexual Assault
  • The Use of Technology to Stalk
  • Stalking on Campus
  • Stalking Risk Assessment
  • Stalking Safety Planning
  • Working with Victims of Stalking
    (Date and registration information coming soon.)

Department of Family Services Information graphic

Topics for Your Information

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services provides select education and outreach materials to increase knowledge that helps create a future with positive relationships and safer communities.

Access Education and Outreach Materials

john-crownover-jim-person-healthy-masculinity-county-conversation.pngCounty Conversation Podcast: Promoting Healthy Masculinity and Engaging Men and Boys as Allies in Gender-Based Violence Prevention

John Crownover, prevention and education coordinator with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services chats about building a culture that embraces healthy masculinity with County Conversation podcast host Jim Person. The pair also discussed engaging men and boys as allies in gender-based violence prevention.

podcast-microphone.pngCounty Conversation Podcast: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Robust Volunteer Program

Tanisha Cox, volunteer manager with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services discussed the division's robust volunteer program with County Conversation podcast host Jim Person. For more information about becoming a volunteer for DSVS, contact Tanisha Cox.

debra-miller-jim-person-county-conversation-teens-stalking-edited.pngCounty Conversation Podcast: Teens and Stalking—an Unfortunate Trend

Debra Miller, youth education and outreach specialist with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, discussed the growing trend of stalking among teens with County Conversation podcast host Jim Person. The pair also talked about healthy relationships and other teen programming within DSVS.

County Conversation Podcast: Housing for Victims of Gender-Based Violence
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

Finding shelter for victims of gender-based violence is more than simply finding a bed. Find out the options available for housing people who have suffered domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking on the County Conversation podcast where host Jim Person chatted with Vanessa Cullers, Housing and Economic Specialist at the Domestic Violence Action Center.

desk globe six figures represent different culturesHeritage Months
Domestic and Sexual Violence Services will provide one-page fact sheets about five heritage months throughout the year, complete with information about heritage-specific organizations working on issues around gender-based violence. Look for the following fact sheets:
February: Black History Month
May: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
June: Pride
September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
November: Native American Heritage Month


Title IX Turns 50
Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 (aka, Title IX) is a federal law in the United States prohibiting any publicly funded school or university from practicing discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in all school activities. Title IX has brought significant changes to how all publicly funded schools address sexual and gender-based violence and harassment for the last 50 years. This is what Title IX looks like in Fairfax County.

bystander-intervention-101 web

Bystander Intervention 
Being an active bystander goes beyond see something, say something. This simple primer gives quick tips for what to do if you see inappropriate or threatening behavior.

summer-reading-list web.png

Read the Room: Summer 2022 Reading List
Bystander intervention empowers us to step up, step in, and be safe when we see a problem. Head to your local library to check out our K-12-appropriate Summer Reading List about how our literary friends intervene when they notice inappropriate or threatening behavior

People with Disabilities and Gender-Based Violence
(More information to come.)

Department of Family Services Events graphic

See how Fairfax County and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services acknowledges the work the division does to raise awareness and transform the norm through a series of events.

Participate in Events and Activities

Crime After Crime film poster graphic Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion: Crime after Crime
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022
(6-8:30 p.m.)
Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center
3740 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030

Join Fairfax County Department of Family Services and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services for a special screening of “Crime After Crime,” a documentary about incarcerated domestic violence survivor Debbie Peagler’s decades-long fight for her freedom. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the criminalization of survivors of intimate partner violence, and how those survivors are often forced to defend themselves against their abuser as well as the justice system. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

2022-toiletry-drive-01.pngDomestic Violence Toiletry Drive
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022
(10 a.m.-Noon)
Mount Vernon Wood Elementary School
4015 Fielding Street
Alexandria, VA

Join the brothers and sisters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., as they partner with Shelter House and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services for a Toiletry Drive, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, 10 a.m.-Noon, at Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School. All donated items will support victims of domestic violence.


Domestic and Sexual Violence Services and Neighborhood and Community Services are recruiting for this year's cohort of Teen Advocates! This program is for teens ages 12-19 who are eager to build leadership skills and passionate about promoting healthy relationships and consent. For an application, contact Debra Miller or click here.

engaging-men-and-boys-header.pngEngaging Men and Boys in Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Prevention
June 23, 2022
(2-3:30 p.m.)
A hybrid in-person and virtual event with presenter Gary Barker and a panel of guests on engaging men and boys around gender-based violence/intimate partner violence. This panel is free, but registration is required.

teen-art-contest cropped.pngTeen Talent Showcase
Friday, June 3, 2022 5 p.m.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Auditorium and Forum
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Come to a celebration of art and performance and raise awareness about teen dating violence. This
year’s theme, Awareness + Action = Social Change, encourages bystanders to do what they can to
interrupt violence when they witness it. Artwork and performances featured are from the annual art contest where teens respond to what this year’s theme means to them. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the “People’s Choice” prize. Questions? Contact Debra Miller or Yolanda Bonilla.

Gun Violence Awareness Day graphic.pngGun Violence Awareness Day
Friday, June 3, 2022

The Department of Family Services Domestic and Sexual Violence Services division supports policies to remove firearms from potentially deadly situations. It’s the law: Gun owners in Virginia who have been served a final protective order must surrender their firearms. (We encourage taking it to the Sheriff’s office 703-246-4405). By doing so, victims, their families, and our communities are safer. To learn more about the intersection of guns and domestic violence, call the Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 703-360-7273.

teen-art-contest-call-for-entries-cropped.pngTeen Art Contest Call for Entries! 

To shine a spotlight on teen dating violence, Fairfax County teens (ages 12 to 19) are invited to use their creativity to design works of art that promote this year’s awareness theme and what it means to them: Awareness + Action = Social Change. Submissions may include:

  • Paintings
  • Posters
  • Sculpture
  • Short videos & Tik Toks
  • Poetry
  • Musical performances
  • Dance performances

Entries and performance audition videos should be submitted at your local Fairfax County Community Center or Teen Center by Friday, May 20, 2022. Art and performance winners will receive a $75 gift certificate in the Most Original, Most Powerful Message, Best Presentation, and People's Choice categories. Questions? Contact Debra Miller or Yolanda Bonilla.

2022-denim-day-cropped.pngDenim Day
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Denim Day was created in 1999 to bring awareness to victim blaming and the destructive myths that surround sexual violence. The day asks everyone—from community members and elected officials to businesspeople and students--to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against sexual violence misconceptions. Learn more about the history of Denim Day.

teen-panel-consent.pngTeen Panel: We'll Tell You What We Really Want to Know
Friday, March 25, 2022
(4-5:30 p.m.)
What do you wish you had learned about consent? Statistics show us that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 and these rates are higher for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Consent is giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something, and its presence is crucial in preventing sexual violence, but these statistics show we’re not getting the message clearly. So join teens from across Fairfax County on a virtual panel discussion about how adults can best communicate and model consent. This panel is free but registration is required.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant