Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Domestic and Sexual Violence Services offers compassionate and comprehensive state-accredited programs for women, men, teens and children who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.
COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
What is a Coordinated Community Response?
No one agency, organization or individual can address and end domestic violence alone. It takes the engagement of an entire community to do this.
The coordinated community response in Fairfax County brings together key players countywide to identify and address any gaps in our system of support, develop strategies and approaches to enhance our community’s and systems’ response to domestic violence and sexual assault.
The response in Fairfax is multifaceted and made up of numerous coordinating groups not limited to the following:
- Council to End Domestic Violence (CEDV)
- CEDV unites senior-level public officials and community leaders to advise the Board of Supervisors on a range of domestic violence policy, legislative and program issues and to guide the development of a coordinated and collaborative community response to domestic violence in the county. The Council is comprised of elected officials, leaders of county public safety, public schools, judiciary, and human service agencies, and community members representing the faith community, non-profit organizations, and local universities.
- CEDV Goals
- Goal 1: Engage the community in a collective response to the prevention and intervention of domestic violence.
- Goal 2: Support victim safety and autonomy and promote offender accountability and an opportunity for offenders to eliminate violent behavior in all forms.
- Goal 3: Increase coordination and consistency of system and community interventions and service provision.
- Goal 4: Advise the Board of Supervisors on policy and legislative priorities for improving the county’s response to domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence Network
- The Domestic Violence Network (DV Network) is a multi-disciplinary group of service providers and justice professionals coordinating a consistent and comprehensive direct response to domestic violence in Fairfax County.
- Mission: The mission of the DV Network is to support the development of a community-wide system of prevention and intervention efforts that are responsive to the needs of individuals and families impacted by domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
- The goals of the DV Network are the following:
- Promote victim safety and offender accountability
- Increase coordination and consistency of services
- Strengthen the capacity of service providers and justice professionals
- Educate the community through outreach
- Address ongoing and emerging needs
- The DV Network meets on the third Tuesday of every month (except August & October) from 10am to 12pm and is open to all domestic violence service providers, justice professionals, and allied partners.
- Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)
- The Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC) was created to provide culturally responsive information and support services for victims of intimate partner domestic and sexual violence and stalking, and their families, as well as to promote the accountability of offenders of these crimes through specialized prosecution and offender supervision. The Center is co-located with county agency and community non-profit partners.
- Step Up 4 Kids
- The Step Up 4 Kids Coalition is a group of non-profit and Fairfax County programs that work together to help children who live with domestic violence in their homes. The Coalition raises awareness and educates both the community and professionals and improves the response of the community. The Coalition also helps professionals identify and understand the needs of children who live with domestic violence and give them appropriate services to meet their needs.
- Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team
- The Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) is a group of government and community partners, co-chaired by the Fairfax County Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Fairfax County Police Department.
- The mission of the DVFRT is to:
- Identify the circumstances leading up to intimate partner homicides and homicide-suicides;
- Determine indicators that promote early identification, intervention, education and prevention efforts in similar cases; and
- Improve communication in all systems that serve people involved in domestic violence to diminish future intimate partner homicides.
- Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
- Fairfax County’s legally mandated Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) meets monthly for information sharing, updates on pressing concerns, and coordination on policy and legislative issues relating to sexual violence.
- SART is co-chaired by staff from the Commonwealth Attorney’s office and Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. SART membership includes representatives from all of the law enforcement agencies covering the county, governmental and nonprofit victim services providers, medical providers, institutions of higher education and the public schools, as well as legal services and the child advocacy center.
- Firearms Surrender Workgroup
- The Firearms Surrender Workgroup was formed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2016 to identify non-legislative strategies to improve implementation of the 2016 Family Abuse Final Protective Order Firearm Prohibition Statute. This Workgroup considers opportunities for process improvements, explores administrative “fixes” to firearm surrender protocols, amongst other tasks.
- Lethality Assessment Program Team (LAP)
- Fairfax County’s Lethality Assessment Program Team is a partnership between Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS), Fairfax County Police Department (including the Victim Services Division),and Shelter House Inc. to implement implement the Lethality Assessment Program – Maryland Model.
- The Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP) is a multi-pronged intervention that consists of a standardized, evidence-based lethality assessment instrument and accompanying referral protocol that helps first responders make a differentiated response that is tailored to the unique circumstances of high-danger victims.
- Shelter and victim advocacy services are research-validated protective factors for victims, yet the majority of domestic violence-related homicide victims do not access services prior to their murder. Therefore, the primary goal of the LAP is to identify victims in “high-danger’’ (risk of serious re-assault or homicide), educate them about the level of their risk, and connect them to services immediately after the crime in order to provide them with options to enhance their safety.