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,

Volunteer Voices - Current Issue

Volutneer Voices newsletter graphic image of conversation clouds, announcement horn, speaker microphone

Welcome to the 2020 July issue of Volunteer Voices, a monthly newsletter for current and potential Domestic and Sexual Violence Services' (DSVS) volunteers.

In this Issue:

Table of Contents
  • Notes from the Staff
  • We Still Need You!
  • Reviews: In the Dream House: A Memoir
  • Raising My Voice: Montgomery “Monty” Johnson
  • Birthdays
  • Trainings
  • Make A Note


Notes from the Team

Rebecca AlbertThe counseling team has been eagerly preparing for the launch of teletherapy services. Teletherapy, or providing therapy virtually over the internet, has been something the counseling team has been investigating since before the pandemic. As priorities have shifted, we have been diligently developing our skillset, resources and systems. We are piloting teletherapy not only for DSVS, but for all DFS, too. The development of these services uncovered many complexities within various systems. We are confident that our teletherapy services take into careful consideration client privacy and security while ensuring the highest professional standards are met. We are excited to promote these services and will provide updates once these services begin.

Rebecca Albert
Domestic and Sexual Violence Counselor

We Still Need You!

hands using cell phoneThough Fairfax County’s office buildings currently are closed to the public, DSVS volunteers can still help answer the Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline. We are also still providing hospital accompaniment via the phone. If you have questions about your role during the pandemic, contact Lynne Rowson or Ara Jo (Hotline) and Angela Acosta (Hospital Accompaniment).

Each newsletter will include this section to help share reviews, spotlight the people who support Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, recognize birthdays and list upcoming trainings and meetings.


book coverIn the Dream House: A Memoir 

“I enter into the archive that domestic abuse between partners who share a gender identity is both possible and not uncommon, and that it can look something like this. I speak into the silence. I toss the stone of my story into a vast crevice; measure the emptiness by its small sound.” -- Carmen Maria Machado

In her memoir, In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado tells the story of her psychologically and emotionally abusive relationship with her girlfriend while she was in grad school. In the beginning, the unnamed girlfriend seems perfect, but soon becomes possessive and cruel and rages at Machado constantly. The titular Dream House is an actual physical building, her girlfriend’s house in Indiana where Machado often visits. The Dream House is also how Machado makes sense of her experience, using the idea of home to unpack how she understands the violence and its impact on her.

Machado tells her story in short vignettes and essays, using history, music, pop culture and literary theory. She uses these to frame how people experiencing domestic violence, and LGBTQ folks, have no language or context for describing violence that is not physical. Most of the book is written in the second person, making the reader feel as if they are in the moment with Machado, trying to figure out what is going to happen next, which version of her girlfriend the reader and Machado are going to experience on the next page. Will they be treated with love and kindness or told that they are stupid and untrustworthy? Readers sit with her in her confusion and uncertainty as they try to figure out what their next steps should be. “You shouldn’t have been so stupid; the warnings were already there, but the prospect of…being with her was too tantalizing... In the pit of it, you fantasize about dying... You have forgotten that leaving is an option.”

In the chapter “Dream House as Prologue,” Machado talks about “the violence of the archive,” the idea that by destroying stories or refusing to record them not only erases people from history, but it also makes it hard to contextual a lived experience. If you don’t exist in in the stories that get told, how can you understand yourself? In the Dream House is Machado’s way of recreating the archive and telling her story.

Raising My Voice

people holding hands graphicMeet Montgomery “Monty” Johnson, DSVS Hotline and Court volunteer!

"I volunteer to give something back to people in need. Read on to learn more about why Monty Johnson is a DSVS volunteer." Learn more about Monty's reasons for and commitment to volunteering.

Learn More




Jennifer Morgan, 3
Adrienne Williams, 4
Dalia Hedges,  6
Raya Redmond, 7
Noelle Harvey, 8
Leah Meyer, 8
Danielka Zeledon, 9
Karen Eye, 11
Abigail Wescott, 12
Montgomery Johnson, 14
Johanna Moore, 20
Julie Collins, 21
Katarina Kiseli, 21
Sasala Challa, 30


black gearsActive DSVS volunteers may sign up for training. If you are interested in a training and not currently volunteering with DSVS, please contact Debra Ranf or visit the VOICES web page for current volunteer opportunities.

Strangulation Series, Part 1
Thursday, July 9, 2020
2-3 p.m.

Strangulation Series, Part 2
Thursday, July 23, 2020
2-3 p.m.

Quarterly Meetings

There is no meeting scheduled at this time.

Make a Note!

notepad and pen

Please take a moment to log on to your Volunteer Management System (VMS) account and log your hours for the month of January. Please also log any time you spent on training under “volunteer training.” If you do not see this selection under your opportunities, please email Debra Ranf, and she will log on to add it to your account. 

  • Please enter your hours for each day you volunteered and not as a lump sum.

  • If you need to log hours for a previous month, please send email Debra to let her know so she can be aware of the entry and expedite the approval process.

Check out past issues of Volunteer Voices.

Back to top

Fairfax Virtual Assistant