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

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is a family, community and public health issue with widespread ripple effects that impact all parts of our community. It will take all of us to build a peaceful and safe Fairfax County.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men will experience sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner during their lives.
  • More than 43 million women and 38 million men will experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Research also shows survivors of domestic violence have significantly higher rates of long-term health problems, including diabetes, frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, asthma, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

We can prevent domestic violence across our community by addressing the root causes of the problem. We can eliminate attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, environments and policies that contribute to domestic violence and promote strategies that stop it. Together, we can reduce our acceptance and tolerance of violence, and reject norms, practices and policies that place girls and women at increased risk. We can confront gender and racial injustices.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Learn about county activities and resources honoring the month and check out our community engagement toolkit for ways you can share the message!

Thursday, Sept. 28: Unscripted: Conversations about Sexual and Domestic Violence Podcast


Lydia Gurguis, advocacy services manager with Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, and Colleen Armstrong, a DSVS on-call crisis line specialist, talk about the history and importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on this episode of Unscripted: Conversations about Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Friday, Oct. 6: Purple Out! – Fairfax County Turned Purple

Purple Out: Friday, Oct. 6Fairfax County dressed for #PurpleOut success! See the colorful slideshow, below. It’s not too late to turn out to raise awareness about domestic violence and show your support for survivors. During the rest of October, send your purple selfies to John Crownover. You may see yourself in a future slideshow.

The Domestic and Sexual Violence Community Awards Helped Kickoff DVAM

Every Person Every VoiceOn Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, the Department of Family Services and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services hosted the Domestic and Sexual Violence Community’s Annual Meeting at the Fairfax County Government Center. It was the first in-person meeting since 2019. The community celebrated its achievements over the past year; paused to recharge for the work to come; and raised its collective voice to end domestic and sexual violence. The ceremony included a networking breakfast, a Girls on the Run Wellness Workshop, words of encouragement from Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Judge Gayl Carr and Rebecca Thomforde Hauser of the Center for Justice Innovation, and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Community Awards. Learn more about this celebration.   

Saturday, Oct. 21: 16th Annual K-9 Krawl

Saturday, Oct. 21: 16th Annual K-9 Krawl; women with sixe dogsPublic Safety Headquarters
12099 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035 

9-11 a.m. (check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.)

Get ready for a pawsome adventure at the 2023 K9 Krawl, where dogs and their humans come together for a tail-wagging, fur-flying 5K! This annual event brings awareness to the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Registration suggested.

Saturday, Oct. 21: 3d Annual Toiletry Drive

Saturday, Oct. 21: 3d Annual Toiletry DriveMount Vernon Woods Elementary School
4015 Fielding Street
Alexandria, VA

10 a.m.-Noon

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 the 3d Annual Domestic Violence Toiletry Drive. Can't make it in person? Choose items off the Amazon Wishlist.   

Saturday, Oct. 21: Library Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event--Meet Author Rachel Louise Snyder

No Visible Bruises bookcoverVirtual
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Journalist Rachel Louise Snyder provides crucial context for what we don't know we're seeing. As she lays out in her award-winning book No Visible Bruises, the scale of domestic violence in our country is obscured by commonly-held myths: that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter, sealed from the public sphere and disconnected from other forms of violence.

Joe Meyer, executive director & CEO of Shelter House, Toni Zollicoffer, division director of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, and other experts will discuss local resources available for those experiencing domestic violence.

This event is free, but registration is required.    

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

man standing with head downVirtual
2-4 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.    

Fairfax Virtual Assistant