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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?
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  • 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.

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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

Don't delay strangle ban

By Deborah DeBare

The Providence Journal, May 20th 2012

He "started yelling at me, and he held me up against the refrigerator, choking me. I didn't know what to do. I was fading. I didn't know what was going on. All I knew was that I fell to the ground," testified Carmen Cruz, a domestic-violence survivor, to the Judiciary Committee of the Rhode Island House. "This happens all the time with abuse," she added.

Though Cruz survived, she endured many more years of abuse, including an attempt on her life when her abuser shot her in front of her children and grandchildren.

Cruz's story is familiar to domestic-violence survivors. Strangulation is a very common and dangerous form of domestic assault. Domestic violence is about power and control, and strangulation is one way that power can be violently asserted. When your abuser strangles you, he is telling you that he holds your life in his hands and he has the power to end it.

Even if a victim is lucky enough to survive a strangulation assault, she can suffer debilitating injuries, including brain damage, miscarriage, impaired breathing, vision damage and hearing damage. Additionally, a strangulation assault is a powerful indication that the violence in the relationship is escalating toward murder. A November 2003 study in the National Institute of Justice Journal found that a domestic-violence victim who has been strangled is 9.9 times more likely to be murdered by the abuser later in the relationship.

There is no question that strangulation is just as dangerous and damaging as other forms of felony assault. Yet here in Rhode Island, we still treat these crimes as misdemeanor simple assaults, punishable by less than a year in prison. In fact, fewer than 1 percent of those charged with misdemeanor domestic-violence assault in 2011 served any jail time. Meanwhile, a report by Justice Assistance shows that almost 60 percent of misdemeanor domestic-violence charges in Rhode Island between December 2011 and February 2012 were dismissed.

In the last six years alone, 30 other states have passed felony assault laws specific to domestic-violence strangulation, including our neighbors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Police and prosecutors in New York found the law so useful that they were able to apply it to more than 2,000 cases in the first 15 weeks. Law-enforcement officers everywhere have found these statutes to be an invaluable tool for holding the most dangerous batterers accountable for their crimes.

In Rhode Island, we've seen tragic results when law enforcement has not had access to the tools they need to keep victims safe. A 2009 Johnston Police report describes the red marks visible on the neck of Stacie Dorego, a young mother who stated that she was attacked and strangled by her boyfriend, Donald Greenslit. The misdemeanor charges filed against the abuser were eventually dismissed. In January, Dorego was found murdered and dismembered in Johnston, and Green-slit was arrested and charged with first-degree domestic-violence homicide. If law enforcement had been able to charge Greenslit with a felony in 2009, it is possible that Dorego would still be alive today, and her children would still have their mother.

We urge the leadership of the General Assembly to ensure that the anti-strangulation bill (S-2147, H-7242) becomes law this year. In 2011, the bill received overwhelming support from both chambers of the Assembly, and this year it has also received endorsements from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, the state attorney general, the state chapter of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.

The anti-strangulation bill cannot wait. Law-enforcement officials urgently need this powerful tool to protect Rhode Islanders and prevent domestic-violence homicides. Pass the bill before we lose another life.

Deborah DeBare is 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.
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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