To help raise awareness and educate our communities, the RICADV compiles facts and statistics about domestic violence in Rhode Island.

View our current fact sheets below, and check back often for updates and additions.

Fact Sheet: About the RICADV

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The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. Formed in 1979, the organization provides support to its member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and provides leadership on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island.

The RICADV’s network of member agencies provide comprehensive emergency and support services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Full Member Agencies are organizations whose primary purpose is to end domestic violence and provide victim services. Affiliate Member Agencies are organizations whose work includes some programming to address or prevent domestic violence.

Full Member Agencies

  • Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center
  • Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County
  • Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center (Kent County and Cranston)
  • Sojourner House (Northern RI and Greater Providence)
  • Women’s Resource Center (Newport and Bristol Counties)

Affiliate Member Agencies

  • Center for Southeast Asians
  • Crossroads Rhode Island
  • Family Service of Rhode Island
  • Progreso Latino
  • YWCA Rhode Island

In 2016, 8,710 individual victims of domestic violence received services from our member agencies, including:

  • Emergency shelter and transitional housing
  • 24-hour crisis hotline support
  • Counseling
  • Support groups
  • Court advocacy
  • Immigration advocacy
  • Law enforcement advocacy

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • maintains an annual budget of over $3.4 million, with 70% passed through to our member agencies to fund victim services and primary prevention programs.
  • works closely with Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR), its task force of survivors of domestic violence, to promote, advocate for, and work towards the elimination of domestic violence.
  • has been a leader in getting domestic violence legislation passed in RI and making systems such as child protection, criminal justice, public benefits, and housing more responsive to the needs of survivors.
  • is nationally recognized for its prevention efforts, including its work engaging men and youth-serving organizations, and is one of only 10 states funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) DELTA FOCUS grant.
  • values strategic communications in order to create social change, focusing on initiatives that include statewide public awareness campaigns, a nationally-recognized online guide for journalists, and innovative strategies using new and traditional media.
Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence and Firearms

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The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is urging the General Assembly to take action this year to pass the Protect RI Families Act (H5510/S0405), sponsored by Representative Tanzi and Senator Metts. Statistics show that domestic violence victims and bystanders are more likely to be murdered if an abuser has access to a firearm. Twenty-seven states plus D.C. prohibit those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from having guns. Rhode Island is not yet one of them.

From 1980-2016, 232 Rhode Islanders lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. 48% of these individuals were killed with firearms. This data includes abusers who committed homicide/suicide with guns.1

Rhode Island domestic violence police incident reports for the year 2013 show that 487 suspects were in possession of a firearm at the time of their arrest.2

Although federal law prohibits people under final domestic abuse protective orders from buying or possessing guns, there is no mandated system in RI for abusers to turn in the guns they own.3

In a study conducted by Everytown, between 2012 and 2014, Rhode Island courts rarely ordered abusers who were subject to final protective orders to turn in their firearms. Among more than 1,600 reviewed final protective orders, Rhode Island courts required abusers to turn in their guns in just 5% of cases (84 in total).4

When a firearm is present in a domestic violence situation, the risk of homicide for women is five times greater than when a firearm is not present.5

Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be killed with a firearm than women in other developed countries.6

Abusers having access to firearms is also dangerous for bystanders; an analysis of gun violence crimes from 2009-2016 found that 54% of mass shootings were related to domestic or family violence.7

1 RICADV Homicide Project, 2016.
2 Rhode Island Supreme Court Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit. 2013.
3 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32).
4 Everytown for Gun Safety. (2015). Domestic abuse protective orders and firearm access in Rhode Island. Everytown Research. Retrieved from
5 Campbell, J. C., Webster, D., et al. (2003). Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. American Journal of Public Health,93(7), 1089-1097.
6 D. Hemenway and E.G. Richardson. (2011). Homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm fatality: Comparing the United States with other high-income countries, 2003.Journal of Trauma. 70, 238-42.
7 Everytown for Gun Safety. (2017). Mass shootings in the United States: 2009-2016. Everytown Research. Retrieved from

Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence and Revenge Porn

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Revenge Porn, also known as Nonconsensual Pornography (NCP), is defined as the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent. It includes both images originally obtained without consent (e.g., hidden cameras, hacking phones or online accounts, or recording sexual assaults), as well as images consensually obtained within the context of an intimate relationship.1

The following 38 states, along with Washington, D.C., have adopted legislation to criminalize Revenge Porn/NCP. Rhode Island is not yet among them:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A single act of posting explicit images can cause significant harm to a victim, impacting their mental health, relationships, and career. Images are often posted alongside personally-identifying information about the victim, which often leads to additional harassment and threats from third parties.

According to a study by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative:2

  • 51% of victims of Revenge Porn/NCP have had suicidal thoughts due to being victimized.
  • 93% of victims said they have suffered significant emotional distress due to being a victim.
  • 82% said they suffered significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning due to being a victim.
  • 42% sought out psychological services due to being a victim.
  • 90% of victims were women.

Revenge Porn/NCP should be against the law in Rhode Island, in the same way that domestic violence and other related forms of violence and abuse have already been criminalized.

Revenge Porn/NCP is frequently associated with the following crimes:3

  • Domestic violence: Revenge Porn/NCP can be used as an abusive tactic of power and control in a domestic violence situation. Many people who are controlling and abusive during a relationship are also aggressive and destructive after a relationship. Revenge Porn/NCP images or videos may have been originally created within the context of an abusive relationship as a result of coercion by the abuser.
  • Sexual assault: Revenge Porn/NCPimages or videos may document a sexual assault or its aftermath.
  • Harassment, stalking, and cyberstalking: Many Revenge Porn/NCP offenders harass victims through unwelcome texts, emails, phone calls, letters, visits to the victim’s home or workplace, contact with the victim’s friends, family, or colleagues, etc. The offender’s persistent conduct online and/or offline may cause the victim to fear for their safety.

1 FAQ. (2017). Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. Retrieved from
2 End Revenge Porn. (2014). Revenge Porn Statistics. Retrieved from
3 Related Laws. (2017). Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. Retrieved from

Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence Homicides, 2006-2015

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The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) published a 2016 report on domestic violence homicides in Rhode Island. This fact sheet highlights some of the key findings.

Between 2006 and 2015, 54 people lost their lives to domestic violence homicides.

  • Of the 41 perpetrators of intimate partner homicides, 37 (90%) were men and four (10%) were women.
  • Of the 45 victims killed in intimate partner homicides, 34 (76%) were female intimate partners of a male perpetrator.

The relationship of the victim to the perpetrator in the 54 total incidents were as follows:

  • Intimate partner or spouse: 72%
  • Family member: 13%
  • Bystander: 11%
  • Unrelated cohabitant: 4%

About half of the perpetrators (20, or 49%) who committed intimate partner homicides had a previous domestic violence criminal history.

  • 14 (70%) of these criminally-involved perpetrators had previously been convicted or had pleaded nolo contendere in at least one domestic violence case.

Though a similar number of homicide incidents involved stabbing as those that involved firearms, considerably more victims were killed with firearms (19 victims, or 42%) than by stabbing (14 victims, or 31%).

  • 100% of the bystanders who were killed in intimate partner homicides were killed with firearms.
  • 100% of the incidents involving multiple homicide victims were committed with firearms.

There is growing evidence that, in order to prevent domestic violence homicides, it is effective to screen domestic violence cases for homicide risk factors with validated assessment tools and then provide those cases assessed as “high risk” with increased levels of services and supervision.

  • Using this approach, Maryland reduced its domestic violence homicide rate by 34% in the first five years of the program. A similar program in Massachusetts intervened in 106 high risk cases between 2005 and 2013 and had no domestic violence homicides during that period.

Access the full report for more information on domestic violence homicide risk factors and policy recommendations. Visit

Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence Services in 2016

pdfTo view or download this fact sheet as a PDF, please click here.

The network of member agencies of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) provides comprehensive emergency and support services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.

Statewide Services

  • 8,710 individual victims of domestic violence received help and services in 2016.
  • 478 adults and children stayed in shelter/safe homes.
  • 21,476 nights were spent in shelter/safe homes.
  • 75 adults and children lived in transitional housing.
  • 20,738 nights were spent in transitional housing.
  • 13,976 Helpline/hotline calls were answered.
  • 747 victims received individual advocacy services.
  • 447 children who have witnessed domestic violence received services.
  • 332 victims of domestic violence participated in a support or educational group.
  • 226 victims of domestic violence received clinical/counseling services.
  • 3,061 victims were assisted by a Court Advocate in obtaining a restraining order.

Educational Presentations

  • 7,913 people attended 256 presentations provided by the RICADV, our survivor task force Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR), and our network of member agencies.
  • 7,721 Rhode Island youth, parents, educators, and school administrators attended 450 presentations delivered by advocates and survivors.

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