The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence

The V Word: Forced Marriage


Today Carol talks about Forced Marriage and the current bill going through Virginia’s General Assembly.

New Anti-Violence Blog

The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance has started a blog!  Check the Alliance in Action  and keep up with what the Action Alliance is doing for Virginia in terms of policy and legislation, advocacy and training, prevention, and 24/7 hotline services. 

2015 in Sexual Assault

Today Carol reviews the national conversation that took place in 2015 regarding sexual assault.


WRIR 97.3FM 

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Holidays and Domestic Violence

Emily hosts today’s show and talks about holidays, domestic violence and local resources.

You can listen to her show here:

The V Word: Innovative Reporting Solutions

Welcome to the V Word, where we talk about sexual and domestic violence, stalking, harassment and trafficking. We talk about what is going on in the community, what resources are available and what changes are happening to end violence.

You can listen to today’s show or use the player below:

This past year we have talked alot about sexual assault on college campuses, the prevalence, the inability of schools to better protect students, support those who have been assualted and downright misrepresentation of facts. Many states are trying to put into place laws and regulations to help students and schools address campus sexual assault.

One nonprofit: Sexual Health Innovations, has created a new program for use by higher education institutions. This new reporting program is called Callisto and it is designed to allow victims to file reports of sexual assault, harassment and interpersonal violence online. The victim has options, choosing to have the perpetrator reported, to have other victims of the same perpetrator notified and have all records time stamped. The records are private, for use by the victim when they want to further their case.

Multiple studies from colleges, rape crisis centers, and state criminal justice programs show that between 20 percent and 25 percent of women experience sexual assault by the time they graduate from college, but few report it. Of those, according to state records and the Department of Justice, less than 5 percent of reported rapes in college get reported to the criminal justice system. Fewer still are reports of other types of sexual assault.

Are you on a college campus? Check out Callisto and help improve reporting for college campus students. You can help on the state level as well, join your local coalition that supports both rape crisis centers and college campus programs. Here in Virginia, we have the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. They worked with survivors from University of Virginia and Representatives to change legislation to improve response, support services, and reporting of rape on college campuses. As a student or college employee, you can join the Campus Sexual Assault Taskforce, host a bystander intervention program like the Red Flag Campaign, or donate to support the work.

The V Word: Protests for DV Budget cuts

Welcome to the V Word, where we talk about sexual and domestic violence, stalking, harassment and trafficking. We talk about what is going on in the community, what resources are available and what changes are happening to end violence.

or listen here on 

While American’s were enjoying a holiday weekend, Feminist activists in London were busy protesting budget cuts to domestic violence services. They dyed Trafalgar Square’s fountains red after hundreds of women marched through London’s West End in a noisy protest, chanting: “They cut, we bleed.”

Feminist activists styled their protest much like a funeral procession for the victims of domestic violence.The guardian reported that 500 women attended the protest, which started in Soho Square with a memorial service for women killed this year by domestic violence. The names and ages of victims were read out as protesters stood in silence with their fists raised. Following the memorial, they marched from Soho to Traflagar Square, blocking roads and stopping traffick.

Sarah Kwe, an activist and organizer from Sisters Uncut stated, “These cuts are going to affect women who are trying to flee domestic violence, through their benefits, their housing and their refuges. They are all being cut. We are taking direct action to say we are not going away. When two women a week are being killed by domestic violence, we can’t take it, we can’t accept it.”

Sisters Uncut, organized the protest in reaction to budget cuts announced on the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, November 25th. Bad timing there, London.

Here in the states, we face the same issue every year. Advocates and activists in each state work hard to convince legislators of the need to keep funding going. You can add your voice to your state coalition to help them advocate for the necessary funds to keep rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters adequately staffed and functioning.

According to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Surivivors of domestic violence who were staying in Virginia shelters responded to the question, “what would you have done inf the shelter had not existed? – 21% said they would have had to return to their abusers.”

Domestic and sexual violence impact our families, homes, communities, schools and workplaces on a daily basis. Domestic violence and sexual assault impact all socio-economic levels, cultures and religions.

The Governor’s office of Virginia, reported in 2012, at least 117 men, women, and children lost their lives to
domestic violence. Also in 2012, there were more than 67,000 calls to domestic and sexual violence hotlines
across the state.

The V Word: Exploring Consent

This week join guest host, Emily Westerholm as she discusses sexual consent.

You can listen to the show on or the player below.


If you’d like to learn more about sexual consent or sexual assault you can contact the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.838.8238 or visit their website:

Emily Westerholm has worked in various aspects of social services for over 14 years. She began by working with individuals impacted by homelessness in 2001 in California, next she honed in on trauma and crisis management working with those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. In the last several years Emily has specialized in chemical dependency and assisting those who experience incarceration.


V-Word Radio Show: The Link between mass shootings and domestic violence.

Emily Westerholm visits the link between mass shootings and domestic violence.

You can listen to the show here


WRIR 97.3 FM

National Network to End Domestic Violence

Virginia Domestic and Sexual Violence Action Alliance

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The V Word Radio Show: Emily Westerholm talks about sexual assault in prison

Today Emily shares statistics about those most effected by the criminal justice system. She talks about the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and resources available.

You can listen to the show here


WRIR 97.3


The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

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