The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence



Special Thanks to supportive of our bills regarding strangulation.

Delegate Charniele Herring:

I want to thank you for the great speech you gave at the General Assembly about the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence in Virginia.  As both the leader of a local center serving central Virginia and a Governing Body member of the Action Alliance, I appreciate the recognition you gave our work and your knowledge of the extent of what we really do.   The staff, boards, volunteers, interns, and members here at RCASA and at the Action Alliance appreciate all that you do as an individual and a delegate to support our work to help support survivors of violence. 

Senator Mark Herring:

I want to thank you for your support of the issues important to those serving survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking.  We appreciate your support of the Action Alliance license plate bill that will provide another funding source for our local centers.  Your support of the bills dealing with strangulation and firearms prohibitions related to domestic violence criminal convictions and equal protections for sexual and domestic violence victims is also an important effort for us and the safety of our community. 

Some facts to end DV awareness month ….

Do you know what constitutes Domestic Violence? Domestic or Interpersonal Violence is willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. With the statistics showing that 1 in 4 women may become victims of interpersonal violence, it is considered an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.  The majority of domestic violence reports are women by partners known to them.

Family members and loved ones who witness abuse are considered secondary victims and can also have emotional and psychological trauma.  The strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next is children who witness violence between one’s parents or caretakers.  In particular, boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.   Statistics from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

There is a high correlation between domestic violence and homicide of females.  Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.  As reported by the NCADV, in 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, a staggering statistic, no matter which partner was killed, the woman was physically abused before the murder.  Also staggering is the realization that less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following abuse.  It is suspected that intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.

DV Programs Spotlight: P.O.W.E.R.S. INC is have it’s First Annual DV Walk to Restore

Become Aware of what Domestic Violence can do to you and how P.O.W.E.R.S. INC. can “restore your life” on:Sunday, October 16,2011,

Flushing Meadows Corona Park at

Ederle Terrace, Queens, NY

Registration Begins @ 9am – Events end @ 12pm

Silent No Longer: Honoring Survivors and Victims of Domestic Violence

Join the Virginia Attorney General in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Silent No Longer: Honoring Survivors and Victims of Domestic Violence

You are invited to see the following: Exhibits open at 9:00 a.m.:

* Silent Witness Figures

* Beating Hearts Display

* Domestic Violence Quilts

Remarks by the Attorney General at 9:30 a.m.

Domestic Violence Survivor, Claire Hylton Sheppard

Video Overview of    Telling Amy’s Story

 And enjoy refreshments.

October 4, 2011

Office of the Attorney General, 900 East Main Street Auditorium, Richmond, Virginia 23219

Questions? Contact Melissa Roberson at (804) 692-0592,

Get your Prevention ON: Introduction to Primary Prevention

September 23, 2011  9:00AM- 4:00PM
Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley (1217 Grove Avenue Radford, VA 24141) will host an introduction to primary prevention.

Primary Prevention programs are focused on reducing or eliminating the first-time perpetration of sexual violence and intimate partner violence (SV/IPV).

For information and registration contact Jonathan at or 804-377-0335.

“Behind the Make-up” a play about Domestic Violence

For three nights only the women of “Behind the Makeup” Monologues will uncover the ugly truth in a theater production designed to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence. This play, written by Jewell Medley, a local of Halifax County, and was inspired by Jewel’s own experience with of domestic violence.  When Jewell was 15 her mother was murdered by her husband, and after killing her mother, he turned the gun on himself.

Performances will be Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase now at The Prizery box office (700 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA 24592) and they may also be purchased by phone at 434-572-8339 or online at

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Domestic Violence Program of Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc.

Address Confidentiality Program

The Office of the Attorney General has extended the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP).  ACP is a confidential mail-forwarding service for domestic violence victims who have recently relocated to a location unknown to their abuser.

The goal of the ACP is to help domestic violence victims keep their new address confidential. The ACP is not retroactive and cannot provide absolute protection.  The ACP is only one piece of a victim’s overall safety plan.  Each ACP participant should seek counseling through a crisis center and shelter services for an overall safety plan.

To apply for participation in the ACP, the victim must complete an application through our local domestic violence program. Below is a brochure with more details.

New Protective Orders in Virginia

Starting July 1, 2011, Virginia has made some changes to its Protective Order Laws (HB 2063/SB 1222).  These changes were made to simplify the protective order process in Virginia; provide equal access to Protective Orders for victims of sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence; and to provide equal protections through court/law enforcement response to violations of protective orders for victims of sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.   These changes are:

Changes to Family Abuse Protective Orders: The definition of Family Abuse has now been revised to specifically include stalking and sexual assault within the definition.  There have also been changes in the relief provisions.  The new definition of Family Abuse is:  “any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person’s family or household member.  Such act includes, but is not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault in violation of Article 7 (& 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault or bodily injury. 

Changes in Family Abuse EPO, PPO, PO-Relief Provisions:  prohibits acts of family abuse “or criminal offenses that result in injury to person or property.”  Additionally, prohibits such contacts “by the respondent with the petitioner or family or household members of the petitioner” as the court deems “necessary for the health and safety of such persons.”

Changes to Acts of Violence Protective Orders: acts of violence or “behaviors” will be same as that of the new definition of family abuse, added the elimination of warrant requirement, applies the Law Enforcement Response for violations: “Pro-Arrest” provisions, and the 34rd or subsequent violation = Class 6 Felony.

There are new definitions of Acts of Violence, Force or Threat: that states, “Acts of violence, force or threat” means any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.  Such act includes, but is not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault in violation of Article 7 (&18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault or bodily injury.

Changes to Acts of Violence – Eligibility: deletion of references to specific acts, such as sexual battery, aggravated sexual batter, serious bodily injury, and stalking and replaced with references to “act of violence, force or threat” and the removal of warrant requirement.

Changes to Acts of Violence: EPO – Grounds.  Here Law Enforcement or the Victim asserts that there has been an *Act of violence, force or threat and on that assertion, the magistrate finds that there is probably danger of a further such act being committed by the Perpetrator against the alleged victim or a petition or warrant for the arrest of the Perpetrator has been issued for any criminal offense resulting form the commission of an act of violence, force, or threat. 

Changes to Acts of Violence: PPO-Grounds.  Here a petition alleging the petitioner is or has been subjected to an act of violence, force or threat or a petition or warrant for the arrest of the Perpetrator has been issued for any criminal offense resulting from the commission of an act of violence, force, or threat and may be issued ex parte upon good cause shown.  The immediate and present danger of any act of violence, force or threat or evidence sufficient to establish probably cause that an act of violence, force, or threat has recently occurred shall constitute good cause. 

Changes to Acts of Violence: PO-Grounds. Here, a petition, warrant or conviction for any criminal offense resulting from the commission of an act of violence, force or threat has been established and a hearing held pursuant to subsection D of &19.2-152.9 (PPO Statute). 

Acts of Violence EPO, PPOs, PO – Relief Provisions: prohibits acts of violence, force or threat or criminal offenses resulting in injury to persons or property; prohibit such contacts by the Perpetrator with the alleged victims or such victim’s family/household members as the judge/magistrate deems necessary to protect the safety of such persons and such other conditions as the judge/magistrate deems necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force or threat, (ii) criminal offense resulting in injury to person or property or (iii) communication or contact of any kind by the Perpetrator. 

Court/Law Enforcement Response to Violations of Acts of Violence Protective Orders: makes consistent misdemeanor and felony penalties for violations of Family Abuse Pos and violations of non-Family Abuse Pos.; pro-arrest measure of violations of Pos or &18.2-57.2 will be added to violations of Acts of Violence PO; Law enforcement may request an extension of an Acts of Violence EPO, not to exceed 3 days, for a victim who I physically or mentally incapable of filing a petition for a preliminary or permanent protective order.

This is a lot to take in!  So to Recap:  These changes creates one standard for getting protections for victims of family abuse and for victims of other acts of violence, including sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.  It removes the criminal warrant requirement for the protective order issued by the General District Court, and adds enhanced penalties for violation of the protective order issued by the General District Court so that the penalties are the same as those for violating the Family Abuse Protective Order.  Additionally, it requires law enforcement to make an arrest for violation of a protective order issued by the General District Court (Pro-Arrest provision). 

If you need further information, please call the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance at 804-377-0335 and ask to speak to Gena Boyle.

Women and the Double Bind in Politics

Women and the politics of war
Tina Managhan writes in her essay “(M)others, Biopolitics, and the Gulf War” (2005) about the changing
viewpoint of women and their relationship with the military. This change is purported to be a change
from the “rationality of care” as proposed by Sara Ruddick (1990) that Managhan puts in opposition to
the military state. She talks extensively of how the engagement of women into the military enforced a
change in the mobilization of mothers from an organized and very vocal antinuclear movement to a
quiet subliminal whisper of tacit consent of military support that only “contributed to the
remilitarization of American participating in the war as soldiers and contributing to the
myth of a vital and unified national community” (pp. 208) While much stigma about women and the
roles that they were capable of kept women out of combat positions, women’s positions in both the
civilian and the military workforce in traditionally male positions increased during war time to keep the
economy going. Yet following the Gulf War (or inflated militarized political engagement), the answer to
the feminists’ request for equality in the military is answered at a time very convenient to garner the
support of women to what had become an embattled cause. Here in lies an example of the double-bind
women or any marginalized group faces when attempting to make gains for equality; the gain is often
given when the outcome will actually benefit the group in power the most and result in yet another
marginalization of the group. Managhan goes on to declare the institution of motherhood as just
another culturally regulated institution that is at the mercy of commercialism and politics as any other.
Motherhood and the Dilemma of Difference
DiQuinzio (2005) looks at the dilemma of motherhood through the lens of civic engagement and the
public sphere. While she too, examines the double-bind that women face in attempting to create
change, she posits that “women’s civic engagement is more likely to be accepted when it is based on
motherhood, since motherhood has long been seen as women’s distinctive and most appropriate role.”
(pp. 227). Here, she flips the predator/protector logic described by other writers examining the reality
of feminist gains as opposite to the dilemma of difference but again as a method of undermining the
progress of female autonomy. DiQuinzio appears to also adhere to the brand of double-bind that
highlights that every perceived gain is in fact a loss of freedom in another aspect. The reality of this
concept shines clearly on the progress of the anti-violence movement, giving breath to the same
concerns of one-step forward, two steps back. Like the Million Mom’s March, the anti-violence field
was started by women and has faced the same barriers to progress and the same double-binds that the
MMM faced. The dilemma of difference equally applies as women face being reduced to being
marginalized as either anti-feminine anti-nuclear family radicals or idiot females that use their status of
motherhood without clear logic to reduce males to being unfairly targeted as pedophiles and rapists.
The Dance of Progress toward Equality for Women
Dolan (2007) provides a nice explanation to the progress through history from the choices women’s
groups made in order to achieve any political and social gains toward equality. Dolan highlights from
the beginning how negotiations were processed to give but small parts of equality through a Sophie’s
Choice method. Her example is the Civil War and women’s work to support the abolition of slavery and
so was then offered the choice to make that gain over the same gain for women. This “Sophie’s Choice”
is still used to control growth, stymie progress, and subvert the equalization of all groups and genders
today. Again I relate it to the anti-violence field and working to create human rights to be free from
violence and sexual coercion against the same push to continue to accept the control of women, female
sexuality, and female reproduction as necessary for their protection. Bargaining invades the education,
response, prosecution, and policy of the sexually violent survivor. In today’s world, we continue to hear
that one gain toward equality in addressing the violence survivor is followed by yet another means to
reduce rights, subvert investigation, and detract from prosecution. A survivor’s right to seek
investigation and therefore prosecution is limited in time from the assault; yet the further one gets from
an assault, the easier it is to remember the incident with the calmness that allows for verbalizing the
narrative of the crime. Here, too, the progress of this field echoes the conclusion of the feminist
movement’s theory that “gender discrimination was pervasive in society rather than a consequence of
personal failings.” (Dolan, pp. 25)
As in the feminist movement toward equality in voting, employment, and education; the younger
generation of the anti-violence field moved from using political action to community building and
generating local activism toward smaller gains. This younger generation has come to ask for less than
their fore-bearers did and in smaller steps. While the former generation asked for radical change and
eventually achieved some radical growth (voting rights, the ability to own property, the beginnings of
job equality), the younger generation seems to weight the economics and safety of pursuing radical
growth. However, by taking this cautious, one step forward approach, we often have gains that result in
yet another means of subjugation, oppression, or marginalization.
Dolan’s brief history of women’s advocacy through time displays a nice accompaniment to the essays in
Meagher’s publication. Dolan also highlights how women advocate differently than men, how woman
initially approached advocating for rights through their role as mothers. This “civic motherhood”
became the torch for gaining social advances following the few political gains that were made in the first
wave of feminism. Managhan (2005) and DiQuinzio (2005) both show how the initial gains made
through this advocacy was in fact a double-edged sword of gain and loss.
DiQuinzio, P. (2005). Love and Reason in the Public Sphere: Maternalist Civic Engagement and
the dilemma of Difference. In Women and children first: Feminism, rhetoric, and public policy.
(pp. 227246). Albany, NY.: State University of New York Press.
Dolan, J., Deckman, M., & Swers, M. (2007) Women and politics. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice
Managhan, T. (2005). (M)others, Biopolitics, and the Gulf War. In Women and children first:
Feminism, rhetoric, and public policy. (pp. 205–225). Albany, NY.: State University of New
York Press.

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