The roots of the Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” established in 1981.  This day established by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence helped unify the efforts of advocates across the nation who worked to end violence against women.  The Day of Unity spread to a week of activities hosted by local, state, and national groups.  In 1987, the week grew to a month of dedicated observance.  While the range of activities has diversified, the common theme is to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate those who survived and working to end violence together.  Each year, the Day of Unity is celebrated the first Monday of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors — including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion — used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

Domestic Violence in our Community:

During the 2008 fiscal year, the YWCA of Richmond provided 9,502 nights of shelter to 225 women and children.

  • Each year 1.5 million women  are raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000)
  • In 2004, about 1 in 250 households included a member victimized by an intimate partner, such as a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004)
  • Intimate partner violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths nationwide every year.  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003)
  • Fifty to 70 percent of men who abuse women also abuse children. (National Coalition of Domestic Violence, 1999)
  • Children exposed to domestic violence at home have a significant risk of ever-increasing harm to their physical, emotional and social development and they tend not to do as well in school. (UNICEF and The Body Shop, 2006)


Where to get help

 The Richmond YWCA has a 24-hour hotline for free crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling and support 804-643-0888

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE [7233] or TTY 1-800-787-3224 help is available to callers 24 hours a day,

The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453 provides help and resources, including confidential online support, for teens who are concerned about what is going on in their relationships.

http://dvam.vawnet.orgprovides more information.



During an attack (from the YWCA website)

  • Call the police as soon as your partner becomes abusive – dial 911. Tell the person who answers the phone that you are being beaten and that you need immediate help. Give them your name and address.
  • Try not to let the batterer trap you in the kitchen (too many potential weapons) or the bathroom (too many hard surfaces).
  • Do not threaten him with a weapon – it can easily be turned against you.
  • Try to proceed with your escape plan.

Upcoming events in Fredericksburg – Show your support and learn how to help

Check for more information

October 12 – Stop by RCDV’s candlelight vigil at St. Episcopal Church in King George and support DV awareness.  Visit RCASA’s table and see what services for survivors we have.

October 16 –  Visit RCASA’s booth at the Caroline County Harvest Festival.

October 27-29 – RCASA is collaborating with SAVE and RCDV on The Red Flag Campaign – a campus focused campaign implemented in Virginia by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance to highlight safety in interpersonal relationships.

October 27 – Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, in collaboration with the University of Mary Washington and Student Anti-Violence Educators (SAVE) is hosting a movie showing of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the Dodd Auditorium.  6pm  Following the movie showing a discussion group will be led by Dr. Zukor, Chris Kilmartin, and Carol Olson

October 28 – SAVE is taking safety to your medical health as well, stop by the UMW Flu Shot Clinic and pick up information on safe dating and sexual assault prevention.

Upcoming events in Richmond – Show your support and learn how to help

October 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 Community Chest Night at Capital Ale House. Sponsored by Capital Ale House at any Capital Ale House in Richmond Area any Thursday in October from 5pm-10pm. Bring this flier and the Capital Ale House will donate 25% of your food sales to Safe Harbor. Join us for a good time AND a good cause. Contact Mary Maupai for more information at 804-249-9470x 12.

Hosted by the Richmond Police Department Community Partnership for Domestic Violence Awareness, the Journey For Justice event is to help raise awareness about domestic violence.

The 3rd annual Journey For Justice event begins Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at Byrd Park with a candle light vigil to mourn those who have died as a result of domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Forum will be held on Friday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at Cedar Street Baptist Church, 2301 Cedar St.

The Journey For Justice 5k Walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Byrd Park Roundhouse, 2800 Trafford Rd., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about these events, contact Richmond Police Sgt. Carol Adams at 804.646.4105.

October 9 1st Annual Empowerment Tour Sponsored by Lyrically Inspired, Inc. 7:30pm at Byrd Theatre, 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond. This show will be comprised of spoken word, fashion and theatre as an avenue to bring awareness to the epidemic of domestic violence. Nationally renowned spoken word artists will empower attendees with words while fashions from featured designers such as Michael Taylor Couture will grace the stage. An ongoing theatrical performance will tie both the words of empowerment and sophisticated style together in order to educate the audience about the epidemic of domestic violence and to empower them as well. This show will be hosted by Poet from Washington, D.C.’s radio station WPCG 95.5 accompanied by DJ Lonnie B of Power 92.1. For more information contact Stacie Vecchietti at 804-249-9470 15.

October 13 Henrico County DV Awareness Month Proclamation Sponsored by The Henrico Board of Supervisors 7pm Board Room within the Administration Building, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Rd. Richmond. At the Henrico Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board will be presenting the county proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We want to PACK THE HOUSE to make sure our local representatives get the message that domestic violence is an issue that the community is deeply vested in, so bring your friends and family members. For more information contact Angela Verdery at 804-249-9470 16.

October 16, 2010 At the University of Richmond from 2pm-5pm a free workshop entitled “What Have We Learned? A Reality-Based Approach to Addressing Domestic Violence Through the Law.”  Professor Diane Rosenfeld, Lecturer at Harvard Law School, discusses with other experts progressive legal initiatives to better and more realistically address the persistent social problem of domestic violence. This program is sponsored by the University Of Richmond Journal Of Law and the Public Interest and the University of Richmond School of Law’s 16th Annual Austin Owen Lecture. For more information, see UR or call (804) 289-8740 (option 3).

October 17 Hands On Day, Sponsored by Hands On Greater Richmond. 10am at Safe Harbor. HandsOn Greater Richmond is sponsoring this impressive day-long effort that includes over 40 different service projects (of which Safe Harbor is one) and as many as 1000 community volunteers. Up to 15 of these volunteers will be working at the house to continue the painting, maintenance, and cleaning that have begun over the past few months. If you are interested in participating, you can sign up via the HandsOn Greater Richmond website. For more information contact Stacie Vecchietti at 804-249-9470 x15.

October 19th – 23rd Clothesline Project, Sponsored by Safe Harbor. Will be hanging in display throughout the week. The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with graphic messages and illustrations that have been designed by women survivors of violence or by someone who love a woman who has been killed. The purpose of the Project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence against women, to celebrate a woman’s strength to survive and to provide another avenue for her to courageously break the silence that often surrounds her experience. For more information contact Stacie Vecchietti at 804-249-9470 x15.

October 23 Resource Event for Allied Professionals and Community Members Sponsored by The Henrico Police Division of Police and Safe Harbor. 9am-12pm Henrico Training Center, 7701 E. Parham Road, Richmond. The Henrico Police Division of Police and Safe Harbor are partnering to host a resource fair for all agencies, organizations, and individuals who interact with survivors of intimate partner violence and/or their children. Each participant will have an opportunity to share throughout the course of the morning about the resources that they provide to survivors and/or their children. For more information contact Stacie Vecchietti at 804-249-9470 x15.

October 29th The YWCA of Richmond is hosting the 14th annual Remember My Name Memorial to commemorate the lives of individuals in our community who have died from domestic violence. The memorial will be held on October 29th at 7 pm at the Monument Heights Baptist Church. This nondenominational service commemorates those in the Greater Richmond and surrounding areas who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. During the ceremony, families, friends and community leaders will have the opportunity to speak on behalf of the victims or give testimonies about how domestic violence has affected their lives. This event is free and open to the public. For information about submitting a name to the memorial or general information about Remember My Name, please contact Lauren Rosati at 804-643-6761, ext. 116 or

Check out The Action Alliance ( for more events in neighboring counties and cities.