Public support for the Center's fundraising activities in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic has been exceptional. We've raised thousands of dollars and collected much-needed supplies to sustain families, donating to Artemis House and Trauma and Hope.
Thank you to those who have so generously provided resources.
Message from the Board
I hope you find it informative and worthwhile. I am very proud to be part of a team of such talented, professional and dedicated women working to advocate for and help victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in our community. We hope you check our website for upcoming events, view photos of our accomplishments and activities, and lend us your support.
Thank you for visiting,
Jaleh Moslehi, P.E.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we seek refuge in the safety of our homes. But not every woman, man, or child is safe. Being on lock down, having fewer choices, such as when you can leave the house, unemployment, and financial hardship compounded with the anxiety of the pandemic, increase the risk of domestic and partner violence. Research shows that intensified parental stress is often a significant predictor of physical abuse and neglect of children, making the youngest among us especially vulnerable to abuse. Extended family, childcare, schools, religious groups, and other community organizations traditionally providing resources which at-risk families rely on are experiencing difficulties keeping up with needs and/or services may no longer be available.
Our message is three-fold:
Give whenever and wherever you can.
If you know of a loved one, friend, or neighbor who is living in a violent household, please check-in with them as often as possible, of course following social distancing guidelines.
Our website contains a wealth of local and national resources – from Shelter House located in Northern Virginia to national initiatives such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline; feel free to integrate what you need.
The presence of COVID-19 has brought to light the challenges faced by millions of men, women, and children. Take this opportunity to protect those less fortunate. Protect yourself and stay safe. Indeed, this too shall pass, and when it does, may we all be stronger, better informed, and healthy.
Jaleh Moslehi, P.E.
The Center supports the development of projects that improve women's lives, not only locally but beyond our shores. Ambitious yes, but not out of the realm of possibilities. At a time when the mass media here and in other parts of the world desires women to focus on individual improvements to feel empowered, our goals are to work collectively to improve women's conditions beyond the physical and individual imprint, with a specific focus on the prevention of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking
The Center for Improving Women’s Lives supports sheltering and assisting Fairfax County survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking through our collaboration with the Shelter House and Trauma and Hope.
This is particularly relevant in a year where domestic violence in our region is on the rise and human trafficking continues to be an issue. There has also been a shortage of space at the shelters, and victims are housed at overflow facilities and nearby hotels.
Drop-off off your items at various Fairfax County locations every other Friday - details forthcoming. Special pickups at other locations can be arranged.
Receipts for tax purposes to be emailed upon request.
COVID-19 safety measures will be observed at all times.
While not all domestic violence happens to women, they are disproportionately affected by it. We want every woman in an abusive relationship to know there’s help and getting out is possible. To Her Credit offers targeted advice about personal finance based on unique challenges faced by women. It is authored by women with different financial backgrounds, dedicated to encouraging empowerment through financial literacy. Learn about tools you can use to get to financial freedom.
Emotional abuse is hard to prosecute but it can have detrimental effects on someone's mental health. Cyberbullying is becoming an increasingly common tool of emotional abuse.
"Parents are being laid off and are now stuck at home with their spouse and kids, there are a lot of increased stressors, which is going to increase tension," says Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, Clinical Program Manager, SAFE Program. "At the beginning of the lockdowns we saw a tremendous decrease in the number of patients, which was alarming, because we know these crimes don't stop during a pandemic." She explains, "It's because people couldn't get to us. They were stuck at home with their abusers or didn't want to come to the hospital because of fear of the virus."
The realization that patients were avoiding reaching out for help led to an overhaul in how the SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) & DV (Domestic Violence) program at GBMC handles patients.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) announced last week that the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative trained 5,164 distribution employees during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. The employees represent nearly 60 companies and far exceed NBWA’s initial goal to train 1,000 employees in January. This continues the momentum across the country to train beer distribution employees to safely spot and report signs of human trafficking. To date, 119 companies in 37 states have joined the fight since the campaign launched in July.
For decades, Lisa C. Williams has used her voice to call out wrong, saving nearly 1,000 children and young adults from sex traffickers and successfully lobbying to get state legislation to protect survivors. Now Williams has been appointed chair of the first International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council, or ISTAC, part of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland. The little girl who saved two other children with her voice has an opportunity as chair to help spare the lives of thousands around the world.
As the United States marks the twentieth anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Palermo Protocol, and as the Joe Biden administration takes office, it is an appropriate time to consider new approaches to combat human trafficking. Perhaps not surprisingly, given early and important roles played by the Justice Department (and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime), the prosecution of traffickers has dominated U.S. strategies, trailed by efforts to prevent trafficking and protect victims, collectively known as the “three Ps” approach. What should be done more, or differently?
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1.888.373.7888 or BeFree Textline: 233733
Text "HELP" OR "INFO"
MAKE THE CALL 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline: 703.360.7273
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233