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

Awareness About Domestic and Sexual Violence

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

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.

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Free Trainings

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services provides a variety of trainings throughout 2023.

Human Trafficking 101Human Trafficking 101
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023
(10 a.m.-Noon)
This training defines human trafficking, teaches participants how to identify and support survivors, and shares Fairfax County resources. Community service, mental health, legal, and law enforcement professionals provide perspective on the current state of human trafficking locally, the intersection of human trafficking with other forms of violence, and how community service providers and allied professionals can utilize their existing knowledge and skills to address the unique needs and barriers faced by victims of human trafficking. Missed this training? Catch up on this video.

October 2023 Tier 1Tier One
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 3-Nov. 2, 2023

Tier One is an 18-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 18 hours to receive a certificate of completion. This training is free, but registration is required.

Unpacking GenderUnpacking Gender
Participants will explore the messages we are taught about gender and how they can affect our relationships with ourselves, loved ones, and community. We will discuss the impact gender roles and stereotypes have on everyone and how this knowledge can help us prevent violence. This workshop is aimed at parents, guardians, family members, and other caregivers interested in learning how to talk about gender with the children, teens, and young adults in their life. This workshop is free, but registration is required.

Monday, March 27, 2023
7-8 p.m.
Lorton Library
9520 Richmond Highway
Lorton, VA 22079

Thursday, May 25, 2023
7-8:30 p.m.
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
7584 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023
7-8:30 p.m.
Chantilly Regional Library
4000 Stringfellow Road
Chantilly, VA 20151

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
7-8:30 p.m.
Herndon Fortnightly Library
768 Center Street
Herndon, VA 20170


Request a training for your organization. 

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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.

Awareness Months

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:


LGBTQIA+ Language Guidance
Words matters! And this language guide is an excellent resource to help folks better understand terms related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression used in LGBTQIA+ communities. It is not exhaustive, though, and since people use language in different ways, the best practice is always to honor how an individual identifies themselves.

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.

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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.

Young Men: Isolation, Misogyny, and the Challenges of ManhoodYoung Men: Isolation, Misogyny, and the Challenges of Manhood
Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Young men today face unique challenges with the rise of online extremism, feelings of isolation, and rigid ideas of manhood. Using Equimundo’s “State of American Men 2023: From Crisis and Confusion to Hope” as a starting point, this panel discussion will bring together a diverse group of youth experts, policymakers, and community representatives to address these challenges and offer solutions. This virtual discussion is free, but registration is required.

purple-out-2023-04.pngPurple Out for Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month
Friday, Oct. 6, 2023

Take part in a Day of Action: #PurpleOut. Pull together their favorite purple clothing (see the Purple Out slideshow, below, from last year) and share selfies to help raise awareness about domestic violence and show your support for survivors. Send your purple selfies to John Crownover. You may see yourself in a future slideshow.


Teen Trivia NightTeen Trivia Night
Friday, May 19, 2023

5-7 p.m.
James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042

Join the Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Teen Advocates for an evening of trivia! Teens will test their knowledge on movies, TV shows, healthy relationships, and consent, and there are prizes for the winning team. There will also be food and open gym time for attendees. For more information about this event, contact Debra Miller or Cindy Avila.

Take A Moment: Self-Care 101Take a Moment: Self-Care 101
Thursday, May 18, 2023

What comes to mind when you hear “self-care”? Or “mindfulness”? You’ve probably heard they are important, but there may be unanswered questions about what counts as self-care, how to be mindful, or why exactly they’re important. Join us for a one-hour workshop on Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 10-11 a.m. to answer these questions and have an opportunity to participate in a facilitated self-care activity. Take a moment—give yourself a break so you can continue to give to others. This session is free but registration is required.

Wear Teal Day Tuesday, April 4, 2023Wear Teal Day for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2023

Show support for survivors of sexual violence and raise awareness about Sexual Assault Awareness Month by wearing teal on Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2023. Email your teal selfies or post to social media with hashtags #SAAM #WearTeal #Support Survivors. Photos may be shared online.

Teen Advocates Present: Art ShowcaseTeen Advocates Present: Art Showcase
Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

5-7 p.m.
Sully Community Center
13800 Wall Road
Herndon, VA 20171

Come to a celebration of art and performance and raise awareness about teen dating violence. This year’s theme, Awareness + Action = Social Change, encourages people to take a stand against violence in their community. 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 an opportunity to participate in a variety of art and performance-based activities, as well as vote on the People’s Choice prize.

Orange Out for Teen Dating Violence Awareness MonthOrange Out for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023

Orange Out to raise awareness about Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. 

  • Take a selfie in your orange outfit.
  • Post it on social media with the hashtag #OrangeOut. Don’t forget to tag Fairfax County Department of Family Services on Facebook!
  • Submit your photos to Debra Miller for potential use online.

Teen Art Contest Submission Deadline
Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

To shine a spotlight on teen dating violence, Fairfax 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 and TikToks, poetry, musical performances, and dance performances. Entries and audition videos should be submitted at your local Fairfax County Community Center or Teen Center by Friday, Feb. 3. (See a list of Community and Teen centers.)

Art and performance winners will receive a $100 gift certificate in the Most Original, Most Powerful Message, Best Presentation, Most On-Theme, and People’s Choice categories. If you have questions about this event, contact Debra Miller or Yolanda Bonilla.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month Proclamation
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

9:30 a.m.
Government Center Board Auditorium
12000 Fairfax County Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Human Trafficking Awareness Month Proclamation

Wear Blue Day 2023Wear Blue Day for Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is recognized every year on January 11. Be part of this day of recognition:

  • Wear blue to raise awareness about human trafficking and show support for survivors.
  • Post photos of yourself, friends, family, and colleagues on social media with the #WearBlueDay hashtag. Be sure to tag Fairfax County Department of Family Services on Facebook.
  • Send photos to Abby Picard. (Photos may be shared online.)
Fairfax Virtual Assistant