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  • Love is Respect!

    Love is Respect!

    February is national Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. For information and ways to get involved, visit our Teen Center, or head over to loveisrespect.org, a leading national resource. We all have the ability to help someone experiencing dating violence. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Together, our collective actions can make a big difference. How will you play your part?
    Read More
  • Ten Men

    Ten Men

    Ten Men is an integral part of the RICADV's statewide plan to prevent intimate partner violence in Rhode Island. By engaging RI men as community leaders to become more knowledgeable, visible, and mobilized, we aim to change the harmful gender norms that perpetuate men’s violence against women and girls. #TenMenRI
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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 Communities

    Latino Communities

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

    At the RICADV, we proactively engage 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 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.

    Read More
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The Newsroom

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Latest News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Statement Regarding the Arraignment of Elaine Yates

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

[Providence, RI – January 18, 2017] In 1985, when Elaine Yates and her two daughters disappeared from their Warwick home, no laws against domestic violence existed in Rhode Island. It was not until 1988 that legislation went into effect making domestic violence a crime.

Prior to 1988, the landscape was much different for someone who was being battered in Rhode Island. Back then, it was not illegal for husbands to abuse their wives, and victims of abuse had no legal recourse. If a woman was being abused, she could not turn to law enforcement or the criminal justice system for help. There were very few options for safety, while crisis services and legal protections were practically nonexistent. It was not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to leave their homes with their children in order to stay safe, often going out of state and even changing their identities to protect themselves and their loved ones. At that time, advocates would often help battered women and their children flee to “underground” shelters, made up of a grassroots network of people’s homes and confidential community spaces. The stark reality was that the potential legal ramifications for victims who fled with their children were far outweighed by the risks and danger they might face if they stayed.

. . .

Read More: Latest News

Stopping domestic-violence murders

By Deborah DeBare
The Providence Journal. January 18, 2011.

In 2010, more Rhode Islanders — 13 — died because of domestic violence than ever before recorded. They lost their lives brutally at the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect them — their family members and their intimate partners. Sadly, several of these deaths occurred during the holiday season, in the last two weeks of the year.

In addition to the increase in murders, we’ve seen a significant spike in the number of clients coming forward in 2010, with a record-breaking high of 10,410 families receiving services from the six member agencies of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In fact, over the past three years in Rhode Island, there have been record numbers of calls to hotlines, requests for shelter, counseling, legal advocacy and other services, as well as a record high number of emergency restraining orders served.

What is behind all this? Is it the stress of the economy, the stress of the holidays, or increased violence in the mainstream media? While we know these are some of the factors that heighten the risk for domestic violence, none of these risk factors can singularly account for what we’re seeing. The real reason why domestic-violence murders continue to occur is because we continue to tolerate domestic violence in our society.

Any death because of family violence represents a societal failure: a failure to hold abusers accountable, and a failure to keep victims and families safe. When we hear news of a murder, as a community we are outraged and saddened. But when we see the signs of domestic abuse in someone we know, we may worry for them, we may hope for the best, but all too often we fail to take action.

We’re frequently asked why victims don’t “just leave” an abusive relationship. There are many reasons why someone might be hesitant to leave, and those reasons are often fundamentally linked to the dynamics of abuse. For example, maintaining control over money and bank accounts is a common form of abuse; therefore, many victims are unable to independently support themselves or their children. Most importantly, however, victims fear for their safety, and the safety of their families, if they leave. All too often, those fears are realized. Tracey Pytka was the most recent victim who tragically lost her life after trying to leave a relationship.

All this means that victims need to be supported and empowered. If you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive situation, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them if they feel safe. Listen without judging, and let them know it’s not their fault. Let them know you’re there to listen and support them. Let them know that there is help available through our confidential Helpline (800-494-8100). As always, if you see or hear someone being hurt, call 911 immediately.

Even if you don’t think you know anyone affected by abuse, you can still help to promote healthy relationships in your community. Let the young people in your life know that violence is never acceptable. If you hear a friend joke about domestic violence, take a stand against it. Talk about abuse openly, and help break the taboo.

Support the anti-domestic-violence movement in Rhode Island. Our legislative agenda this year includes initiatives to hold abusers more accountable, and to keep families safe in the child-custody and visitation system. Support funding for such programs as safe shelters, counseling services and legal advocacy, which have seen substantial increases in clients alongside dramatic cuts in state funding. If you can, donate your time, money or old cell phones to your local domestic-violence agency.

The biggest step that you can take right now toward ending domestic violence is to educate yourself about the dynamics of abuse. What does abuse look like, and how can you recognize it when you see it? While abusive relationships can take many forms, they fall into similar patterns. Visit www.ricadv.org to learn more about the warning signs of abuse, patterns of power and control, barriers to victim safety, and resources in your community.

This year’s record high number of domestic violence deaths is more than tragic; it is a call to action. If we’re serious about stopping domestic-violence murders in Rhode Island, then we have to be serious about stopping domestic violence.

Deborah DeBare is the executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Communications Center

  • Online Guide for Journalists +

    We work with statewide and local media to increase awareness about domestic violence, the services and resources available for people impacted by abuse, and the ways the community can get involved to help. Visit the RICADV's Online Guide for Journalists for best practices in covering domestic violence.
    Read More
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month +

    We conduct statewide public awareness campaigns during October, national Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), as a way to break the silence and stigma around domestic violence, raise up the voices and experiences of survivors, provide information about help and resources, and educate and engage our communities.
    Read More
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Site Search

Teen Center

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Abusive relationships impact young people, too. Nearly 1 in 10 Rhode Island high schoolers has already experienced physical dating violence. Visit our Teen Center to find resources and information for young people in RI.

Spotlight

  • Be Tech Safe
  • News & Events
  • 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?

Sign up to join our mailing list, and receive mail and emails from the RICADV!

Visit our Calendar of Events to find local and online events.

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 http://smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, 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. 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.

Member Agencies

The RICADV's network of member agencies provide comprehensive services to victims, including emergency shelter, support groups, counseling, 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.

Contact

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

T (401) 467-9940
F (401) 467-9943