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  • Get Off the Bench!

    Get Off the Bench!

    October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Our statewide public awareness campaign "Get Off the Bench!" features URI student athletes saying NO MORE to dating and domestic violence. This October, be on the lookout for the campaign on RIPTA buses, PANDORA, and at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Domestic violence impacts all of us, and will take all of us, together, to end it. How will you “get off the bench”? How will you play your part?
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  • Ten Men Summit

    Ten Men Summit

    Rhode Island men, you're invited to the 3rd annual Ten Men Summit on Thursday, October 27, hosted by Providence College! This event is designed for men and led by men who want to play an active role in preventing domestic violence in our communities. All individuals who identify as male are welcome. Come be a part of the conversation about how men can help prevent violence against women and girls. The event is free to attend! Doors open at 5:00 p.m. A complimentary dinner will be provided, thanks to our generous host and sponsor Providence College. To register, visit
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  • Behind Closed Doors

    Behind Closed Doors

    **TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT** To inquire about the waiting list, please contact Shannon Cordeiro at** Do not miss the final performance of Behind Closed Doors at Trinity Repertory Company this October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Behind Closed Doors is an original play written and performed by 15 survivors of domestic violence from SOAR, Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships, a task force of the RICADV. The performance is a true account of their experiences with domestic violence, hope, and survival, seeking to draw you into their lives to dispel the stigmas of this often misunderstood abuse.
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  • New Resource for RI

    New Resource for RI

    Now more than ever, people are becoming aware of and outraged by the harmful impacts of domestic violence. With primary prevention, we can stop the violence before it happens in the first place, before people ever become victims or perpetrators of abuse. To learn more, check out this new resource created by the RICADV!
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  • "The Way Home" Charm

    Alex and Ani has partnered with the RICADV and the National Network To End Domestic Violence to launch the CHARITY BY DESIGN charm bangle “The Way Home.” When you purchase your bracelets through the RICADV, 50% of the proceeds go toward supporting our work to end domestic violence in RI. You can purchase bracelets in person at the RICADV’s office in Warwick Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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  • Latino Outreach

    Latino Outreach

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

    At the RICADV, we proactively serve Latino communities and work to raise awareness about the help that 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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 17, 2016

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence issues Request for Proposals for programs that aim to prevent domestic violence before it starts

Through the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, $180,000 will be distributed to support local programs that aim to prevent domestic and dating violence

[Tuesday, October 17, 2016 – Warwick, RI] Rhode Island is taking a big step towards preventing domestic violence, as the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) begins accepting proposals for short- and long-term programs aimed at stopping intimate partner violence before it starts. 

Thanks to the newly established Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, which was signed into law earlier this year by Governor Gina M. Raimondo, the RICADV will be distributing $180,000 annually to support evidence-informed domestic violence primary prevention programs in Rhode Island. 

“We are broadening the focus of our work to include domestic violence primary prevention, and investing in long-term strategies to change the social norms that condone domestic violence,” said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director at RICADV. “Supporting both short- and long-term initiatives will enable us to reach diverse communities and populations throughout Rhode Island.” 

. . .

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

  • Handbook for Journalists +

    We work with the Rhode Island media to increase awareness about domestic violence, the services and resources available, and the ways the community can get involved. The press can help break the silence and educate the public. Visit the RICADV's "Online Guide for Journalists" for best practices on covering domestic violence.
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  • Public Awareness Campaigns +

    Public awareness campaigns are one way we can keep the issue of domestic violence visible, provide information about community resources, and engage all Rhode Islanders as active bystanders.
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Teen Center

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Relationship abuse impacts young people, too. Visit our Teen Center to find resources and information for young people in RI.


  • Be Tech Safe
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  • 35 Years of Progress
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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?

Visit our Calendar of Events to find local and
online 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 domestic violence 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 five 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