Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

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,
Director

Sexual Violence

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


What is Sexual Violence?

woman face close up with teal filterSexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact, including words and actions of a sexual nature, against a person’s will or without their consent.  

A person might use force, threats, manipulation, intimidation, or coercion to commit sexual violence. Sexual violence is motivated by a need to control, humiliate, dominate, or harm. It can occur at any age and in any relationship (including stranger, significant other, family member, roommate, personal care provider, friend, teacher, etc.).

Sexual violence can include, but is not limited to:

  • Rape.
  • Nonconsensual oral sex.
  • Unwanted touching.
  • Flashing or catcalling.
  • Restricting access to birth control or condoms.
  • Forced viewing of pornography.
  • Taking or distributing sexual images of someone without their consent.

Consent

Consent is the free expression of agreement to an activity. Learn more about what consent in sexual activity means.

Emotional Support

If you or someone you love has experienced sexual trauma, you may be feeling a wide range of emotions, including fear, anger, sadness, overwhelm, or confusion. While these emotional responses are quite normal, they can also feel very distressing. Survivors of sexual trauma deserve and need safe spaces and healthy relationships where they feel supported and heard as they begin to understand and heal from their trauma. Learn more about how to get emotional support.

Hospital Accompaniment, FACT and Sexual Assault Kits

Seeking medical attention after a sexual assault can be scary. Inova Fairfax Hospital’s Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) provides medical and forensic examinations.

At your request, a member of FACT will contact our Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 703-360-7273 upon your arrival to request accompaniment services, or you may call us directly. Our trained Hospital Accompaniment Advocates provide emotional support, answer questions about your reporting options, stay with you while evidence is collected and share information about available resources

Learn more about Hospital Accompaniments, the FACT Department, and sexual assault kits.

Secondary Survivors

A secondary survivor is a friend, family member, or partner of someone who has experienced sexual misconduct. Sexual assault can be traumatizing for not only the survivor of the assault, but also for their family, friends, or partners. Because they care about the survivor of this crime, it affects them as well. Their responses and feelings about the assault are real and valid. Find the support and resources you need to take care of yourself and be the best support possible to your loved one.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is not always physical or directed at a specific person. For example, making negative comments about a specific gender identity or displaying sexual images may be a form of sexual harassment. This can occur in the workplace or with a landlord or roommate involved. Learn more about resources available to handle sexual harassment.

Triggers

A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma. This reminder can cause a person to feel overwhelmed, sadness, anxiety, or panic. Triggers can take many forms. They may be brought on by a physical location, a certain smell, or the anniversary of the traumatic event. Learn more about triggers and how to manage them.

What Is Sexual Coercion?

Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure, alcohol or drugs, or force to make you have sexual contact with someone against your will and may include persistent attempts even though you have already refused. Learn more about what sexual coercion looks like.

Resources

Articles

Booklists

Everyone is affected by sexual assault. Check out these recommended readings to learn more about how to prevent sexual violence and how to provide support to survivors.

Adults

Teens

Children

Events and Trainings

Training: 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.

Websites

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Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Rape and Sexual Assault

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)

CDC Sexual Violence Information

Darkness to Light (child sexual abuse)

DC Rape Crisis Center

Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

Know Your IX (Title IX)

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA)

Men Can Stop Rape

ational Criminal Justice Reference Service

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA)

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)

Prevent Connect

RAINN National Sexual Violence Hotline

Safe Spot Child Advocacy Center

Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI)

Ujima: National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community

Victim Rights Law Center

Virginia Sexual Violence Laws

Fairfax Virtual Assistant