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  • Welcome

    We are excited to present our new responsive website to Rhode Island. Here you will find information on various topics related to domestic violence and the work we are doing to end it. The site is designed to provide resources to individuals experiencing abuse so that they can get the help they need. It is also a valuable tool for people who want to help and for those who want to get involved. Check back often for updates, and share your feedback with us so that we can better serve you.

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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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  • 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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  • Communities Can Help

    Last October, we launched our KNOW MORE. DO MORE. campaign in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Our goal was to help different sectors of the community – including health care, the workplace, faith, and Latino communities – take action to end domestic violence. When communities take a stand as leaders on this issue, individuals are more likely to have the support they need to act. That's when we'll see real change in Rhode Island. That's how we'll put a stop to domestic violence. Learn more about our 2014 campaign by clicking below.

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  • We Give Support.

    As coworkers, employers, businesses and organizations, we have the ability to help those experiencing domestic violence. The workplace often serves as a location where abusers can readily access their victims, and relationship abuse can greatly impact victims' job performance in other ways, too; for instance, victims lose an estimated 8 million days of paid work each year due to domestic violence, the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs. These problems only serve to exacerbate the financial abuse that occurs in 98% of abusive relationships. An easy way to begin creating a safe workplace environment is to display materials on domestic violence in visible, accessible areas. Click below to view DVAM 2014 posters that you can hang in your office.

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  • We Listen.

    Health care providers are often the first to learn about the domestic violence that their patients may be experiencing and are in a unique position to help prevent future abuse. Listening to patients is a critical first step. During DVAM 2014, the RICADV connected with members of Rhode Island's health care community to help them know more about the steps they can take to address domestic violence. We partnered with the Rhode Island Medical Society, which published an article written by RICADV staff in the October issue of Rhode Island Medical Journal. View the article by clicking below.

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The Newsroom

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Latest News

Domestic Violence is Deadly to Rhode Island's Future

At a hearing today for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence's 2015 top legislative priority, the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund (H5651), state lawmakers will hear testimony on the high cost of domestic violence to Rhode Island businesses, cities and towns, and to every citizen and community throughout Rhode Island. The bill is sponsored by Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski, and a companion bill (S650) will be introduced this afternoon in the Senate by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin.

Domestic violence is a serious, widespread and preventable public health problem that affects individuals, communities, the workforce, and society. It is similar to other workplace health and safety issues that gravely impact businesses, their bottom lines, and the lives of their employees.

In order to build a bright future for Rhode Island, everyone must take action to prevent domestic violence in Rhode Island communities.

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.
    Read More
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Site Search

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