This is a great new collaboration that I am passing from the DVAC and as posted on the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance newsletter.
Sexual and Domestic Violence Advocacy Agency Spotlight: Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
DVAC: A One-Stop Shop for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking
Photo below: Teresa Belcher, Advocacy Team supervisor and manager of the DVAC project
Victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking in Fairfax County can now access a variety of services in one accessible, centralized location. Located in the Historic Courthouse, at 4000 Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax, the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) is a comprehensive, co-located service center, staffed by both county agency and community non-profit partners. These DVAC partners provide culturally responsive information and support services for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking and their families as well as promote the accountability of offenders of these crimes through specialized prosecution and offender supervision. The Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (OFWDSVS) provides an on-site supervisor to coordinate services at the Historic Courthouse location among all the partners providing services on-site. The Advocacy Services team of OFWDSVS is located on-site. OFWDSVS also provides management of the US Dept. of Justice grant that currently funds a large part of this project and coordinates and collaborates with all partners to ensure client and community needs are met.
DVAC is made up of the following county & community-based partner agencies:
- Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court’s Court Services Unit
- Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
- Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Fairfax County Police Department and the Victim Services Section
- A Way Forward, providing direct client monetary & goods assistance
- Ayuda, serving the legal and social services needs of the immigrant community
- Legal Services of Northern Virginia, providing low-cost legal representation for family issues
- Northern Virginia Family Services, providing multi-language counseling services
- Shelter House, Inc., providing crisis shelter for domestic violence victims and services to homeless families
- Tahirih Justice Center, helping immigrant women fleeing gender-based violence obtain legal status and representation
- The Women’s Center, providing low-cost counseling services in the community
At DVAC, community victim advocates, system-based advocates, and other service providers offer a safe environment where victims can feel comfortable exploring their options and accessing the services and resources they may need. For the most part, services are free and confidential. Some of the services DVAC can provide to victims include:
- crisis intervention,
- emotional support and options for counseling;
- education about the criminal and civil justice systems (including civil protective orders);
- victim advocacy, including safety planning, court accompaniment, Criminal Injuries Compensation, assistance with emergency shelter, and
- other referrals to off-site county and community-based resources.
DVAC also provides services to offenders (off-site only) through a protective order compliance officer, including probation counseling regarding compliance with conditions of civil protective orders and referrals to Batterer Intervention Programs or related treatment, family, or social service resources.
Victims can access DVAC services by calling the Information & Intake line at (703) 246-4573 from Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.