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  • Get Off the Bench!

    We are thrilled to launch our new statewide public awareness campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month! The campaign features URI student athletes speaking out against domestic violence and asking their fellow Rhode Islanders to do the same. The campaign can be seen on buses and billboards throughout the state as well as public service announcements on television, radio, and Pandora. Domestic violence impacts all of us, and it will take all of us, together, to end it. How will you “get off the bench” this October? How will you play your part?
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  • Purple Purse

    This year, the RICADV is participating in the Purple Purse Challenge, a national fundraising campaign by The Allstate Foundation. Purple Purse helps organizations that serve domestic violence survivors raise funds while at the same time raising awareness about financial abuse and the need for economic empowerment of survivors. Support the RICADV, and help build a safer Rhode Island!
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  • Member Agencies

    The RICADV's six local domestic violence agencies provide a wide array of services for victims, including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system. For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100 or click below. If you see or hear someone being hurt, call 911 immediately.

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  • Latino Outreach

    Oprima el botón “Read More” para acceder a nuestro sitio web en Español.

    At the RICADV, we proactively serve the Latino community, collaborating with Rhode Island businesses to further our reach to those experiencing abuse. During our public awareness campaigns, we have partnered with Telemundo, Providence en Español, and Latina 100.3 FM to help Latino communities know that help is available through our member agencies. Each agency offers diverse programs and services that can include safety planning, court advocacy, shelter, and support groups. Immigration help is also available. Access our website in Spanish by clicking the "Read More" button below or En Español at the top of this page.

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The Newsroom

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Latest News

Rhode Island, We’re Counting on You to “Get Off the Bench” and Help End Domestic Violence

This October, national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence launches a statewide public awareness campaign featuring University of Rhode Island student athletes

[Providence, RI – October 1, 2015] Another October 1st signals the start of another Domestic Violence Awareness Month, when, each year, advocates, survivors, and supporters unify around a national platform to raise critical awareness on the issue of domestic violence. But, this year, people may be listening more closely than ever.

In 2014, the controversy in the NFL around the Ray Rice case spurred the entire country to take part in the conversations that advocates and survivors have been having for decades. From sports broadcasters and famous celebrities to family members and coworkers, everyone was talking about domestic violence – and in 2015, after decades of tireless advocacy to protect victims and break the silence, awareness has reached new heights.

To build on this momentum, today, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) launches its statewide public awareness campaign, “Get Off the Bench!” featuring University of Rhode Island student athletes.

. . .

Read More: Latest News

By Sara Molinaro

In one of my classes in college, we had a rule: if you talked about Law & Order, you had to leave. (The implication was that the show was so fictionalized, so far from reality, that nothing could stand to benefit from discussing it.) That being said, there’s no doubting the success of the Law & Order franchise. The show, which has aired almost 500 episodes and is entering its 20th season, is a staple of nighttime TV drama, and has even coined a signature sound.

The popularity of the show is one of the reasons why it’s so problematic when the show depicts crimes inaccurately, and that problem is compounded when the crime is already one in which stereotypes abound.

Such is the case with John Stamos’ most recent stint on Law & Order: SVU. Now, my inner 3-year-old has a hard time taking an issue with anything that Uncle Jesse does (he’s so dreamy) but his guest stint on the crime show was just… inaccurate.

Continuing its “ripped from the headlines” style, Law & Order took the subject of Stamos’ episode from the media’s newfound interest in reproductive abuse. New studies have been released over the past few months, confirming what domestic violence advocates have known forever: one method domestic violence perpetrators use to control their victims is reproductive abuse. The phrase “reproductive abuse” refers to acts ranging from birth control sabotage to forced unprotected sex, with the intent of forcing the victim to become pregnant against her will. (This runs counter to the popular sexist notion that lots of women get pregnant “accidentally-on-purpose” in order to control their male partners.)

Redbook Magazine recently did an extremely accurate piece on reproductive control, focusing on the victim’s perspective. In addition to the enormous psychological pressure that her abuser put on her to become pregnant, he used other forms of abuse as well: made her believe that she was useless, he controlled her eating and activities, he physically assaulted her. In other words, reproductive control was just one of the many forms of abuse the batterer used, with the ultimate goal of controlling his victim completely.

This kind of narrative is the textbook definition of domestic violence: a pattern and cycle of abuse, which can take many forms, and escalates over time. Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. It extends to verbal abuse, emotional abuse, financial control, control of the victim’s education and employment opportunities, isolation from friends and family, control of how the victim dresses or behaves, and yes, reproductive coercion. Just as an abuser is not just some guy who, after years of being a great husband, "loses his cool" one afternoon, neither is an abuser just some guy who wants to have a lot of kids.

However, the “reproductive abuser” played by Uncle Jesse does not fall within this definition. Instead of having an obsession with controlling one woman, Stamos’ character is obsessed with having as many children as possible. The detectives track down 21 of his children in New York, all born to different mothers. In an extremely dramatic scene, Stamos reveals that if they had searched outside of New York, they would have found many more:

[Video has been removed]

In other scenes, Stamos does portray a man who is adept at emotional manipulation – this is how he convinces the women to carry his children – but never does this behavior stray into what could be accurately considered the cycle of domestic violence. While Stamos’ character comes across as super-creepy, none of the women are controlled or abused aside from the forced pregnancies.

These inaccurate depictions of abuse are harmful to the work that advocates do to break stereotypes about violence against women and promote a culture where abuse of any kind is not tolerated. A real depiction of reproductive abuse would show how truly dangerous it is for the victims. Indeed, one of the most dangerous times for a victim of domestic violence, in terms of the lethality risk, is during a pregnancy.  So not only does the victim have to endure the abuse of becoming pregnant against her will, but if she chooses to continue to carry the pregnancy -- which may not even be a real choice, if she’s being so closely controlled and monitored – then she runs an enormous additional risk of harm to herself and her child.

So don’t believe everything you see on TV, kids. And if you hear a friend talking about violence against women in a way that’s inaccurate or plays on stereotypes, call them out on it. Tell them the truth. Help to end domestic violence.

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Communications Center

  • Communicating our work to end DV is vital +

    Communicating the work to end domestic violence is vital. Visit our Communications Center and The Newsroom to KNOW MORE. Read More
  • Public Awareness +

    Raising awareness to end domestic violence is part of our mission. Learn how we keep the issue visible in our communities. Read More
  • Handbook for Journalists +

    The media can help break the silence and educate the public. Visit our online guide for journalists covering domestic violence.
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Teen Center

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KNOW MORE: Relationship abuse happens among teens, too. Visit our Teen Center during the launch of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in February 2015 for interactive tools!


  • Be Tech Safe
  • News & Events
  • 35 Years of Progress
  • AmazonSmile

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Your abuser may monitor your Internet use and may be able to view your computer activity.

To immediately leave our site and redirect to a different site, click on the box to the bottom-right of our website or hit the ESC (Escape) key on the upper-left of your keyboard.

If you feel that your computer is not secure, use a computer in another location that your abuser cannot access.

For more information and tips for staying safe online and on your devices, click "Read More" to visit the Privacy & Technology section of our website.

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Looking to get involved in the movement to end domestic violence
or just want to KNOW MORE?

Visit our Calendar of Events to find a myriad of local and
social media events.

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spotlight image lisaleslie35th Anniversary Celebration

In 2014, the RICADV celebrated 35 years of progress in advocating for victims and holding abusers accountable.

On October 9, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we commemorated this milestone with special guest Lisa Leslie, WNBA legend, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and supporter of the national NO MORE campaign against domestic violence.

We thank everyone who has played a part in helping us move our work forward. Together we can end domestic violence.

Visit our 35th anniversary page to watch a special video, view photos of the event (coming soon!), and more.

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AmazonSmile-webWhat is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the RICADV every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the RICADV.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Choose the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support us. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

About the RICADV

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. We were formed in 1979 to support and assist the six domestic violence prevention agencies in Rhode Island. We provide leadership to our member agencies, strive to create justice for victims, and raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island.

Member Agencies

The RICADV's six local domestic violence agencies provide a wide array of services for victims, including 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system. For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100 or click here. If you hear or see someone being hurt, call 911 immediately.


Contact Details

422 Post Road, Suite 102
Warwick, RI 02888-1539

T (401) 467-9940

F (401) 467-9943