Did you know that one in three women and one in four men in the United States will be in violent relationship in their lifetime? What about the fact that families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, now approaching 40 to 50% nationally? Or that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
The truth is that most people don’t know these alarming facts — and, if they do, many don’t realize that it’s happening in their community. That’s right, Arlington: These issues are affecting the women, men and children of our very own county.
For the past 39 years, Doorways for Women and Families has been Arlington’s go-to resource for this escalating need. According to Doorways’ President and CEO, Caroline Jones, “Over the years, our response has grown and developed as we learned more and more about the lasting impacts of trauma and what it takes to not only help women and families escape crisis, but be empowered and achieve stability. Today, our comprehensive response to homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault in our community includes an immediate, safe response to our neighbors in crisis, including Arlington County’s only 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881); safe housing options, from emergency shelter through long-term housing, including Arlington’s only Domestic Violence Safe House, Safe Apartments and Safe Kennel; and comprehensive support services that help our clients achieve and maintain stability.”
What’s surprising though is that “there are still many people who do not know the pervasiveness and impact that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault have on the member of our community,” Jones says. In response, Doorways is launching a public service awareness campaign to inform people of these startling issues, motivate them to get involved in the cause and even, perhaps, shift the paradigm.
There are still many people who do not know the pervasiveness and impact that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault have on the members of our community.
Enter: #Knowthe5, a social media campaign for change.
Says Heather O’Malley, Director of Development and Communications: “Through #Knowthe5, we hope to raise critical awareness of the issues facing too many of our neighbors. Once people are aware, they can make a difference; we know that when our community comes together, we can create real and lasting change.”
Supporters are asked to post selfies with their hand held up, palm facing the camera, fingers outstretched, to bring attention to five must-know facts, which will be updated each month to tell the comprehensive story. This strong and recognizable visual will urge our friends, fans and followers alike to stop the vicious cycle of violence, sexual assault and family homelessness and, ultimately, remind us all that change is in our hands.
“Our goal is twofold—first, we hope our community understands that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault impact thousands of women, men, youth and children here in Arlington, and second, we hope that we empower them to do something about it. From gaining more support for our efforts to serve our neighbors in crisis, to changing conversations around the dinner table, we aim to create real change in our community in many ways, big and small,” O’Malley says.
Grant enables hospital to provide care for survivors 24/7
“On Thursday, Inova Fairfax and local leaders celebrated a grant of more than $500,000 that has allowed the [FACT] unit to expand to a 24/7 operation,” NBC4 reports. “The grant funds four full-time and two part-time nurses.”
“When patients walk through the door of a special secure unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, it’s often the worst day of their life. It is where a special team of nurses treat survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and gather evidence. ‘It really depends on the type of assault and the person, but typically, it’s scary,’ Ariel Ward, a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) said. ‘It can be very overwhelming.'”
How Doorways helps
Doorways is grateful to partner with Inova Fairfax to support survivors of sexual assault during what can be a very difficult time. Doorways’ specially trained Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA volunteers) provide accompaniment to survivors during SANE exams. Learn more hospital accompaniment.
A safe today, a stable tomorrow, and the brightest possible future
The past few years have been ones of dramatic increase, both in number of people reaching out for help and in the ways Doorways is helping. Our Campaign for Brighter Futures calls on all of us to step up like Doorways’ founders did years ago to meet our community’s needs. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or are brand new to this community, you have a critical role to play in safeguarding our response to those in crisis.
Download our latest newsletter to learn more about the Campaign for Brighter Futures, client stories, how gift cards empower our clients, the Doorways Model, stakeholder spotlights, and much more:
Community Comes Together to Prevent Assault and Support Survivors
Local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families is partnering with bars throughout Arlington this weekend to raise awareness of sexual assault and the resources available to survivors in our community. Starting Friday, April 28, five bars will provide customers with coasters that feature Doorways’ 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881) and the message, “Sexual assault impacts everyone.” Participating bars and restaurants include The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social, Crystal City Sports Pub and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub.
Through these coasters, Doorways aims to reach survivors and call on the community to help support them. According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and 54 percent of sexual assault victims are between the ages of 18 and 34. Last year alone, 187 adults and 40 children were served by Doorways’ hotline response as a direct result of sexual assault, and many more of Doorways’ clients have experienced sexual violence within their intimate relationships or in the past.
“Our goal with this outreach is twofold,” said Doorways President and CEO Caroline Jones. “First and foremost, we want to show survivors that they’re not alone. Secondly, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the resources here in Arlington, namely our 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline—help is available in our community.”
“We want to show survivors that they’re not alone.”
Additional resources available through Doorways include hospital accompaniment provided by a highly trained advocate for survivors who choose to seek medical attention; Doorways’ Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program, which offers trauma-informed short-term counseling tailored to your needs to support for survivors seeking services due to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and/or stalking, including adults, youth and children; and Doorways’ bilingual (Spanish and English) Court Advocacy Program, which provides education about the legal system, companionship during the petition and court hearing processes and extensive safety planning for anyone impacted by family violence.
Doorways also stresses the importance of not blaming victims of sexual violence. The connection between sexual assault and alcohol is still widely misunderstood. “Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault,” said Christa Carlton, director of Doorways’ Domestic & Sexual Violence Program. “While perpetrators may use alcohol as a tool to incapacitate their victims, the only person to blame for assault is the one committing the violence.”
“Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.”
As Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes to a close, Doorways remains available to survivors, their friends and family and our community year round. Free and confidential crisis support, information and referrals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Doorways’ hotline at 703-237-0881. Whether you need emergency shelter, hospital accompaniment, counseling, court advocacy or simply a listening ear, anyone needing support is encouraged to call Doorways to talk about their situation or that of a loved one.
Doorways Partners With Local Restaurants For Sexual Assault Awareness
Patio Officially Opens on May 4 with Pig-and-Oyster Roast to Benefit Doorways for Women and Families
After this cool spring, the back patio at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington looks pretty inviting. On Thursday, May 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Rocklands will officially kick off patio season with a special evening of food and drink to benefit Doorways for Women and Families. Guests will mingle on the patio munching on pork pulled from a whole roast pig, and fresh oysters roasted over a wood fire. Rocklands will tap a keg from Right Proper Brewing Company just for the event and offer a selection of wine from the bar.
“Doorways does so much good in our community, we’re pleased to be able to help them.”
“This is our ninth year hosting this event for Doorways. Doorways does so much good in our community, we’re pleased to be able to help them,” said Will Van Sant, Assistant Manager of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. “And we’ve got just the spot for this party: Our famous patio got new stonework and picnic tables over the winter. We’re already hearing patio-raves from fans. We hope to see many of you on May 4 to support Doorways and test the patio upgrade.”
“We continue to see increases in the demand for services for homeless families and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, so Doorways is grateful that Rocklands has had such unwavering support for us. Shed Your Coat is a wonderful event that helps us increase awareness and renew support among our friends in the Arlington community,” said Caroline Jones, Doorways’ President and CEO.
“Doorways is grateful that Rocklands has had such unwavering support for us.”
Rocklands is donating all the oysters, barbequed pork, sides, beer and wine so 100 percent of the ticket price goes directly to support Doorways’ families and programs. Tickets to the event are $25, and may be purchased online (bit.ly/PigRoast2017) or at the door. Raffle tickets can be bought online or at the door for $5 or 5 for $20. Raffle prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants and shops, DC United gear, a spa package and more. In addition we will be auctioning off a hockey stick signed by Washington Capitals player, Andre Burakovsky #65.
Founded in 1990, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company serves traditional wood-fired barbeque. Rocklands can be found at three locations – in Washington DC, Alexandria and Arlington– and is known for catering all around the region. Rocklands Arlington is located near Virginia Square Metro station (Orange and Silver lines); the 38B bus stops in front of the restaurant; and there is off-street and on-street parking available. For more information please visit our website at www.rocklands.com.
Doorways Volunteer Resources Manager Wins Leadership Legacy Award
Melissa Kenney Is the First Recipient of the Volunteer Arlington Award
Doorways for Women and Families, a nonprofit, community service organization that creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives, is proud to announce that Melissa Kenney, the organization’s volunteer resources manager, has received the Leadership Center for Excellence’s 2017 Volunteer Arlington Leadership Legacy Award.
“Recipients are selected for their demonstration of leadership in our community and support of the Leadership Center’s mission ‘to enlighten, inspire and connect’ leaders in our community,” the Leadership Center for Excellence said in a statement announcing the 2017 winners. “The recipients also exemplify a variety of leadership capacities, visionary thinking, servant leadership and ethics in thoughts, words and actions.”
Kenney started at Doorways as a volunteer where she logged more than 350 hours in three years helping survivors of sexual and domestic violence and families experiencing homelessness at Doorways’ Domestic Violence Safehouse and Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home. Her roles included answering Doorways’ 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline, providing shelter coverage at the Safehouse, and supporting Children’s Services. Now, she works to train other volunteers to help carryout Doorways’ critical mission, including Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA volunteers).
“We are so excited that Melissa is being honored this much-deserved recognition,” said Doorways President and CEO Caroline Jones. “Volunteers are critical to Doorways’ day-to-day operations, and Melissa has done exceptional work with volunteer engagement. Her dedicated support of our volunteers and our mission are exemplary, and we are proud to see her work recognized with this award.”
Doorways has three times as many volunteers as staff, and they do everything from front-line service to fundraising. Without volunteers, Doorways couldn’t deliver their life-changing services that put thousands of Arlington community members on paths to brighter futures each year.
“I love working with volunteers because they inspire me every day,” said Kenney. “Our volunteers’ passion, energy and commitment to addressing issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and family homelessness make a real difference in the lives of so many right here in our own community.”
Leadership Center for Excellence is honored to announce the recipients of the 2017 Leadership Legacy Awards, recognizing outstanding community leaders. The event honoring these leaders will be held on May 24, 2017 from 6:00pm until 9:30pm at Army Navy Country Club. Additionally, the Leadership Legacy Awards will celebrate the graduation of the Leadership Arlington Class of 2017.
This year, Leadership Center for Excellence will present awards in the following areas: Ethics, Community Impact, Nonprofit and Volunteer Arlington. We are excited to announce the following winners:
Ethics Award: John J. Brough, Chain Bridge Bank
Community Impact Award: HITT Contracting
Nonprofit Award: YMCA Arlington
Volunteer Arlington Award: Melissa Kenney, Doorways for Women and Families
Recipients are selected for their demonstration of leadership in our community and support of the Leadership Center’s mission “to enlighten, inspire and connect” leaders in our community. The recipients also exemplify a variety of leadership capacities, visionary thinking, servant leadership and ethics in thoughts, words and actions.
Melissa Kenney, Volunteer Resources Manager for Doorways for Women and Families
This year we have added a new award called the Volunteer Arlington Award. Melissa Kenney of Doorways for Women and Families is receiving this honor. Melissa started at Doorways as a volunteer where she logged more than 350 hours in three years helping homeless families and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Now, Melissa works to train other volunteers and is central to the success of Doorways.
“I love working with volunteers because they inspire me every day,” said Melissa Kenney, Volunteer Resources Manager for Doorways for Women and Families. “Our volunteers’ passion, energy and commitment to addressing issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and family homelessness make a real difference in the lives of so many right here in our own community.”
“We are honored to recognize Melissa Kenney as the recipient of our Volunteer Arlington Award,” said Betsy Frantz, President & CEO of Leadership Center for Excellence. “She truly demonstrates leadership and supports our mission to enlighten, inspire and connect leaders in our community.”
Caroline Jones, Doorways’ President and CEO, and Christa Carlton, Director of Doorways’ Domestic & Sexual Violence Program, speak with Laura Weimer from the Arlington Church of the Brethren about our response to those experiencing abuse and homelessness in our community.
More than 10,000 Women’s March and inauguration attendees have donated their unused Metro cards
“Hundreds of thousands of people traveled to the nation’s capital last month for the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington. In the weeks since they’ve left, more than 10,000 visitors have donated to local charities Metro SmarTrip cards that might have otherwise been discarded.”