The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence


November 2009

Virginia has a plan for Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence

Our statewide sexual and domestic violence agency: The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (VSDVAA) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implemented a project on domestic violence prevention back in 2003.  This program continues and will continue past 2009.  This project, the Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) major role was to develop the Virginia Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Plan.  The overall goal was to create evidenced-based strategies that prevent first-time perpetration of intimate partner violence.  Goals were developed for the next 8 – 10 years with achievement by 2014.

Goal 1:  Increase the number and diversity of communities in Virginia that engage in effective programs to promote healthy relationships. This goal is to increase funding to $500,000 a year, located 50% of the projects in historically oppressed communities and increase the capacity of local communities to engage in the promotion of healthy relationships.

Goal 2: Increase the VSDVAA members commitment to achieving economic equality in Virginia. This goal will achieve the salaries of all staff to a living wage with family leave and health care benefits for partners and dependents, increase member agencies to be able to provide the same, and increase organizational commitment to address racism by 25 percent.

Goal 3:  Increase the capacity of young adults to effectively identify and respond to behaviors that may be precursors to IPV. 75% of students surveyed on 3 diverse college campuses and 75% of high school students, after the Red Flag Campaign, will demonstrate that they are more likely to intervene in behaviors that are potential precursors to intimate partner violence.

Goal 4: Increase the resources available to professionals who serve youth for building healthy relationship skills and positive racial identify for African-American youth in pre-K through elementary school. This goal is do develop a partnership with key leaders from the African-American community and develop five new tools for modeling healthy relationships; promoting media literacy related to gender, race, and violence; teaching skills for engaging in healthy relationships; providing lessons that promote positive racial identity for pre-K through elementary-school-aged African-American children.

Goal 5: Increase our understanding of perpetration of intimate partner violence. This goal is to partner with Va. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and law enforcement leaders to structure a set of qualitative data, specific to perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence taht could be consistently collected in IPV homicide investigation and through surveillance.

This report has been originally published by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.  You can request a full report by emailing

Forensic Nurse Examiners Week

I missed forensic nurse examiners week.  I didn’t even realize they had a week to recognize their work.   My apologies to FNE’s everywhere!  I respect what you do, work with great nurses at the Mary Washington Hospital Forensic Nurses program, and know that your efforts to help victims of assault is meaningful. 

I feel that forensic nurses (FNEs), previously known as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), are crucial to the process of collecting evidence in rape cases. These specialized nurses undergo specfic and arduous training in how to collect DNA and other evidence from a rape victim.  This can be both additionally traumatic for the rape victim as well as stressful for the nurse to navigate collecting evidence from a traumatized person.  A forensic nurses job is crucial to a successful prosecution.  They participate in collecting and documenting all evidence, from torn clothing to hairs or debris; photographing external injuries; taking blood to check for pregnancy or STIs; and collecting traces of DNA. Forensic nurses often participate as expert witnesses if the case goes to trial.

After working with nurses through the Forensic Program at Mary Washington Hospital for the last three years, I have come to appreciate the work they do to help victims of crime. 

So my very late kudo’s to the Forensic Nurses at Mary Washington Hospital and to forensic nurses everywhere.

Men Can Stop Rape

The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance is hosting a Fundraising Gala: Act / Honor / Hope on December 5th.

We will have a program booklet and are soliciting ads. One of our ads will be a page reflecting the attitude and fact that men can stop violence. As advocates in the field or advocates for the women in your lives, you know that we need to disrupt the cultural patterns that promote violence, dominance and abuse of women. We live in a world where men have been taught they have power over women. This is certainly not beneficial to women but also, men can live as happier and more fulfilled human beings by challenging the old-fashioned rules of masculinity that embody the assumption of male superiority.

In this vain, we are asking men to sign a pledge that simply says, “we are men who pledge not to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.” This will appear in our program booklet looking similarly like the attached poster. If you are willing to put your name on this statement, please email me to say that you agree.

There is no fee for this, but if you are so inclined to send in a donation, you may donate online at , on left menu click on “make a contribution”; in the “gift information” write in “men can stop violence.”

You may also send a check to VSDVAA, 5008 Monument Ave, Richmond, VA, 23230. Indicate in the memo line “men can stop violence.

Please forward this to other men in your lives.

Any questions, please contact Chris Morin at the Action Alliance office at 804-377-0335.

Day of Remembrance for transgender victims of violence

The Richmond Transgender Day of Remembrance Steering Committee invites you to attend the 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  The event is held annually on November 20 to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence.

This year, the event is hosted by Richmond Friends Meeting, 4500 Kensington Ave., Richmond, VA 23221, and begins at 7 pm.  The program will include speakers, candlelight vigil with a reading of names and brief biographies of those lost to violence in the past year, and end with a reception.

We hope you will join us for this important occasion, gathering with a diverse assembly of individuals and organizations standing up for victims of anti-trans violence. Please visit for more information

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