An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
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Domestic Violence (DV)
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Domestic violence prevention programs are federal- and state-funded public or private, non-profit agencies that provide services to survivors of domestic violence and their children. Local domestic violence programs provide for the safety of battered adults and their children through the provision of emergency housing and transportation, crisis intervention, peer counseling, support, advocacy and information and referral. Funding also supports public awareness initiatives and the statewide Family Violence and sexual assault hotline.

At the state level, the functions of the Domestic Violence Prevention Program are to:

  • Allocate funding to local domestic agencies
  • Promote interagency cooperation for service delivery, technical assistance and data collection
  • Promote provision of domestic violence services in unserved and underserved localities
  • Promote public awareness of domestic violence, its prevention and services to survivors
  • Maintain and disseminate statistical and program information
  • Provide information to the legislature and other interested parties
  • Provide technical assistance to local domestic violence agencies

The Domestic Violence Program within the Virginia Department of Social Services identifies, mobilizes and monitors resources for victims of domestic violence. Close to 60,000 women and their children are served annually.

General Information

Help for Victims of DV

How to Protect Yourself

Safety for yourself and for your children must be your primary concern when you are experiencing violence in your home. Develop a plan. Figure out the best way to get yourself and your children to safety. Ask for help. Keep some money, an extra set of keys, identification records (birth certificates, social security cards) and other important documents and telephone numbers with a trusted friend. Let your neighbors know your situation. Ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises from your house. Teach your children how to use the telephone and how to contact the police or other help in an emergency.

If you are being abused by someone in your family or by a partner, CALL 911. The police are required to:

  • Respond to your call.
  • Make an arrest if there is probable cause that an assault has occurred.
  • Write a report of incident and give you a summary of the report.

The police are also required to request an Emergency Protective Order if they believe you are in further danger. This will order the abuser to:

  • Stop abusing you.
  • Stay away from you.

Places to Get Help


Domestic Violence Prevention & Services

Domestic Violence Services for Underserved Populations

Language Access

Learning Modules

Promising Practices


    The goal of the project is to identify children and youth who have had crimes committed against them and to address the potential serious and long-lasting consequences of exposure to crime. The project gives Virginia an opportunity to collaboratively create, strengthen, and improve the coordination of services provided by the many child and youth-serving systems to ensure that:
    • children are screened for victimization;
    • children, youth and families are provided comprehensive and coordinated
    • services to fully address their needs; and
    • policies and practices are established to sustain this
    • approach long-term


This guidance manual is part of the VDSS Child and Family Services Manual. The VDSS Child and Family Services Manual provides guidance for Family Services programs including Prevention, Child Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption. This manual addresses Domestic Violence and provides information common to all program areas in Family Services.

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