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We're celebrating 35 years this October
during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)!

Join us for our Anniversary Luncheon & VIP Event with
Lisa Leslie on October 9. Plus Behind Closed Doors is
back this year for its third annual
performance with
Trinity Repertory Company.

Tickets are available for each event below (just click the image).

Stay tuned - our DVAM digital campaign will launch on October 1!



bcd facebook cover 2014 final

 We're excited to invite you to the return of the award-winning play about domestic violence, hope and survival, Behind Closed Doors. Performed and written by survivors of domestic violence from SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships), a task force of the RICADV, the play weaves together the struggles and victories they endured in a narrative that takes us on their collective journeys
from victims to survivors.




OPINION: The NFL and Social Change -

Let’s Continue the Conversation
to End Domestic Violence

Friday, September 12, 2014

The level of media attention and public outcry around the Ray Rice case of domestic violence is astonishing. We have not seen this level of public dialogue about domestic violence since the O.J. Simpson trial over 20 years ago. Is it just a coincidence that both cases involved the world of the National Football League and its superstar heroes?

The current public discourse about domestic violence is complex, and there are many layers to peel back to get at the core of the issue. It is not simply about one individual’s assault on his fiancée. It is not simply about an institution’s policy to implement weak sanctions, or a decision to strengthen that policy. It is not about why it is so difficult for victims to simply leave an abusive situation. It is also not simply about the graphic evidence of a brutal assault shown in video footage. No, it is much more complex than any of these elements.

For the first time in over two decades, people seem to be universally talking openly about domestic violence – at their dinner tables, at the water cooler, with their friends, families and coworkers. Everyone has an opinion. But it is important to take a step back and realize that this public conversation involves much more than initially meets the eye.

It is true that the world of the NFL, and football culture in general, exalts physical dominance as a virtue. And there is growing research that domestic violence is an even more common problem among football players than it is in the general population. However, it is illogical to draw a conclusion that football is to blame for domestic violence, just as it is shortsighted to think that punishing one football player for one incident, or firing a Commissioner for neglecting to implement more severe policies sooner, will change the predominant cultural norms that perpetuate domestic violence in our society. The reality is that domestic violence exists not only in families where there are football players, but in all types of families. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence during their lifetimes, more than 12 million people in the United States per year. In Rhode Island, nearly 10,000 people sought domestic violence victim services in 2013.

As a result, we need to focus on shifting cultural norms that accept or tolerate domestic abuse. If we don’t focus on this kind of social change, we will be back here in another 20 years, expressing outrage, yet again, over another high profile case as if it is the first time it has happened.

We should not need to see a video to be outraged by the prevalence and severity of domestic violence. The words and experiences of survivors speak for themselves. We shouldn’t rush to point fingers as if blaming someone for this assault will solve the epidemic of domestic violence that exists in our communities. Instead, we must be catapulted to action by the events and discussions in the media over the past few weeks. To encourage men to step up, raise this issue, and have difficult conversations among other men about masculinity and violence. To acknowledge the intersections of our discourse with race and gender oppression. To create opportunities for communities to get involved, for bystanders to learn how to intervene effectively, and for institutions to reflect on and strengthen their policies around domestic violence.

And through it all, we must never forget that today, here in Rhode Island, there are 57 victims of domestic violence in shelters because their homes are not safe. Every one of them, and the dozens more who called the Helpline looking for services this week, deserve our full effort to change society so that all of our institutions, not just the NFL, send a strong message that domestic violence will not be tolerated.

Help is available in Rhode Island. Our six local member agencies provide a wide range of services for victims, including 24-hour hotline support and emergency shelter. Call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100 for more information. As a bystander, there are many ways to get involved. To learn more about domestic violence and how to take action to end it, visit or call us at 401-467-9940. If you see someone being hurt, call 911 immediately.


- Deborah DeBare, Executive Director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence



The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Celebrates 35 Years of Progress in the Movement to End Domestic Violence

Lisa Leslie, WNBA star, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and supporter of the national NO MORE campaign against domestic violence, joins the RICADV for a celebratory luncheon and VIP reception

Dave's Marketplace leads the RI business community as a champion sponsor of the RICADV's work to end domestic violence

[PROVIDENCE - August 4, 2014] This year, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) celebrates 35 years of progress and leadership in the movement to end domestic violence. The statewide nonprofit will hold its anniversary celebration on Thursday, October 9, at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, hosted by Dan Jaehnig, WJAR NBC 10 News, and featuring special guest Lisa Leslie, WNBA legend, multiple MVP honoree, four-time Olympic gold medalist and supporter of the national NO MORE campaign against domestic violence.

"We are thrilled to have Lisa Leslie joining us as our guest of honor for this celebration. Lisa believes in supporting young women in sports because getting involved in athletics can encourage them to make healthy choices and can foster their future health and success. We know that engaging in sports often increases self-esteem, enhances social support networks and cultivates healthy lifestyles, decreasing some of the risk factors for domestic violence. We cannot wait to meet Lisa Leslie, an amazing role model not only for youth but for people of all ages. We invite Rhode Islanders to join us on this special day," said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the RICADV.

For decades, the RICADV has been a leader in the movement to end domestic violence, with its six local member agencies serving approximately 10,000 victims of domestic abuse every year and providing prevention and education services to about 9,000 youth annually. As the movement continues to evolve, advocates now know that domestic violence is a preventable public health issue – but ending domestic violence will take community involvement.

The RICADV hopes that both individuals and organizations will join in this milestone celebration and is grateful for the generous support of business partners such as Dave's Marketplace, the event's Champion Sponsor, and others such as the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, Alex and Ani Charity By Design, and Nixon Peabody.

"Dave's Marketplace has supported the vital work of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence throughout the years and we are delighted to join them in celebrating this significant milestone. Healthy families and communities are the core values of both of our organizations and we look forward to partnering with them as we continue to move the work forward in realizing that goal," said Renee Hughes, Community Relations Director for Dave's Marketplace.

"We are very proud of the strides we've made over recent decades to protect victims and hold abusers accountable," DeBare said. "We hope that community members will join us in celebrating how far we've come and signaling our vision for the future, where our families no longer suffer and our communities are safe."

Those interested can get involved by purchasing tickets to the event, ad space in the event program book, or both. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to make a donation to sponsor the attendance of a survivor. Corporate sponsorships are still available. For more information about tickets, sponsorship, and program advertisement, visit or contact Zulma Garcia, RICADV, at 401-467-9940 or 




Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Receives Best Practices Communications Award



[Providence, RI – June 6, 2014] The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) on Wednesday received the Rhode Island Foundation's Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence Communications Award for the "KNOW MORE" public awareness and education campaign, which uses traditional and new media strategies to target specialized populations including men, youth, and the Latino community.

"We are excited to receive this recognition; raising public awareness about domestic violence, with a focus on changing social attitudes and engaging the community, is a critical part of our mission and we know that this award will help us continue leading efforts to end domestic violence. Our communication's team has done a remarkable job incorporating innovative and contemporary strategies into each facet of our work, and we know that this approach is going to make a difference in creating a better and safer Rhode Island community," said Deborah DeBare, RICADV's executive director.