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 – 2023 March


Welcome to the 2023 March 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
  • Self-Care Corner: Self-Care Is Essential for Survival
  • Toni Zollicoffer Receives Action Alliance’s Hope Award
  • TED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime
  • During Social Work Month, We Appreciate Our Workers
  • Quotables
  • Partner Spotlight: All about Domestic Violence Action Center Partnerships
  • A Day in the Life … Stacy Ziebell
  • Reviews: “When I Close My Eyes”
  • Raising My Voice: Meet Alaina Archie
  • Birthdays
  • Test Your Brain
  • Educational Resources
  • Quarterly Trainings
  • Make a Note!


Notes from Staff

Hi, Volunteers:

Photo of Tianna Hairs-HughesI am Tianna Hairs-Hughes, victim advocate at the Domestic Violence Action Center, also known as DVAC. I have been working in this role since August 2022. Prior to coming to Fairfax County, I worked at a non-profit in New York, In Our Own Voices Inc., as a case manager supporting people of color and the LGBTQIA+ who identified as victims and or survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I am excited to have you all join us in our mission to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and stalking. As my mom would say, “It takes a village.” Whether working with folks who experience domestic or sexual violence is a future career choice, or just a way of giving back or helping when you can, your impact will have a lasting positive effect on the people you help.

When I’m not working, I like travel, paint, shop, and engage in Harry Potter marathons (Gryffindor is my sorting house)! I recently moved to the DMV area with my fur baby Mila. She is 2-year-old husky akita mix and a ball of energy. I am grateful to work with such a group of passionate and caring individuals at DSVS and DVAC. I can’t wait to meet and work with you all!

I look forward to working with all of you, and remember, self-care is the best care!

Tianna Hairs-Hughes

Self-Care Corner: Self-Care Is Essential for Survival

self care graphicSelf-care is more than a bubble bath or a yoga class (though it can be those things); it is an essential part of our survival.

As you prioritize your emotional wellness, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want?
  • What do I need?
  • How am I really feeling?

The way you answer these questions isn’t as important as you using them to guide how you apply the following three tips when establishing your emotional self-care repertoire:

  1. Self-care is about setting healthy boundaries and making sure the people in your life respect those boundaries.
  2. Prioritize your mental health. Just as you keep track of your blood pressure, weight, and nutritional intake, you must do the same with your emotional health.
  3. “No” is a complete sentence. Stop doing things don’t want to do and don’t feel guilty about saying it.
Toni Zollicoffer Receives Action Alliance’s Hope Award

Toni Zollicoffer with awardDomestic and Sexual Violence Services Division Director Toni Zollicoffer took home the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance Hope Award last fall for her work on partner abuse intervention and prevention. Recommendations from the study group she led have already sparked changes in the way local and state agencies address the harm that takes place within intimate partner relationships. Learn more about Toni and her work in DSVS.


TED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

photo of Nadine BurkeChildhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. Hear her impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on in this TED Talk.

During Social Work Month, We Appreciate Our Workers

Social Work Breaks Barriers The social work profession is incredibly diverse, with workers in many different places, including schools, hospitals, mental health practices, veteran centers, and local domestic and sexual violence agencies like ours — to name a few. Despite that diversity, social work professionals share a common dedication to helping people achieve their own potential. Each day social workers help break down barriers that prevent people from living more fulfilling, enriched lives. They work on the individual level, helping people overcome personal crises like food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or limited access to good health care. They also advocate on a systems level to ensure laws and policies are adopted so everyone can access such services. In gender-based violence, they help support all people impacted by domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, or stalking. Learn more about the work being done by social workers in DFS.


woman with courage“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” – Lily Tomlin


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.

Partner Spotlight: All about Domestic Violence Action Center Partnerships

Photo of Kader Domestic violence is a complex issue that needs supportive, compassionate and well-trained individuals. The Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) provides a network of partners to guide victims of domestic violence every step of the way to a life free from abuse. The Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) is a comprehensive, co-located service center, staffed by county agency and community non-profit partners, created to provide culturally responsive information and support services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and human sex trafficking, and their families. DVAC also promotes the accountability of those who have caused harm through these crimes with specialized prosecution and supervision. Learn more about these partnerships in this video.

A Day in the Life …

Stacy Ziebell came to Fairfax County in 2018 after decades of working on gender-based violence issues overseas. Her position as program manager of the Countywide Coordination Team keeps her hopping, but it’s fulfilling work. Check out how she spends her atypical days.


eating-popcorn-while-watching-show web.png

"When I Close My Eyes"

“When I Close My Eyes” is a five-minute movie produced by Rising Act Films and directed by Daniel Stine. The film opens on a black screen showing these words in white letters: “More than 12 million people in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence every year and nearly half of them report concern for a pet as a barrier to seeking safety. Less than 10% of U.S. DV shelters permit pets.”

The film shows a young girl who turns to her dog, Benny, for comfort during episodes of violence between the adults in her home. One day, her mother decides to escape from the abuse. The mom quickly packs her daughter’s belongings, and they flee, with the little girl pleading to take Benny with them. Sadly, they leave the dog behind.

In Fairfax County, 71% of the domestic violence clients served by Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services staff report the person who has harmed them has also threatened to harm their pet. Nationally, almost 50% of people experiencing domestic violence refuse to leave the situation if they can’t take their pets with them.

In “When I Close My Eyes,” the mother and daughter start a new life, and the little girl ends up reunited with Benny. The good news for people in our community is Fairfax County Animal Shelter has the PetHaven Program, where house pets can be temporarily housed while their owner is escaping domestic violence.

The PetHaven Program provides shelter, food, water, and vet care for up to two weeks, at no charge. The program also helps find new homes for animals whose owners can no longer take care of them. The Animal Shelter website explains, “We don't ask questions, we don't require advance notice, and we're discreet. We're just here to offer a safe place for pets, quickly, so anyone seeking safety for themselves has the peace of mind to know their pets are safe, too.”

Owners should plan to spend about 30 minutes with PetHaven staff when dropping off the animal. If possible, pet owners should provide contact info for the staff person at the agency helping with their domestic violence case.

For more information, including hours of operation, visit PetHaven Program or call them at 703-830-1100.

This review was written by Lois Kirkpatrick, liaison to the Commission for Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Strategic Plan Coordinator.

Raising My Voice

Photo of Alaina Archie “The best part of volunteering is using your spare time to make a difference,” says Alaina Archie, Hotline volunteer. “Volunteering has allowed me to connect with my community and help make it better.” Read more about Alaina’s volunteer journey.







Maryn (MJ) Hadley, 3
Alaina Archie, 7
Katrina Hush, 10
Rachel Bazzone, 13
Myriam Kunzi, 21
Dianna Escobar, 26
Natalie Reategui, 26
Roger Sabin, 28
Gabriela Pasquier, 29

Test Your Brain

Take a stab at this month's brain teaser How much do you trust your eyes? Try this brain teaser on for size!


How many triangles did you count?

How many squares did you count?






Answer key: Triangles: 24; Squares: 40 

Educational Resources

black gears

Unpacking Gender
Monday, Mar. 27, 2023
7-8 p.m.

Lorton Library
9520 Richmond Highway
Lorton, VA 22079

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.

Quarterly Trainings

Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, Mar. 16, 2023
6-8 p.m.

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 February. Please also log any time you spent on training under “volunteer training.” If you do not see this selection under your opportunities, please email Tanisha Cox, 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 email Tanisha Cox to let her know so she can be aware of the entry and expedite the approval process.


Check out past issues of Volunteer Voices.

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