Dear Editor, 

I am writing in response to the article titled “Fairfax County engages with community during Domestic Violence Awareness Month”, published in your newspaper on October 15th, 2021.» I would like to note that you mentioned that part of this community outreach was to show the community that there are resources available for them to utilize not just during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but throughout the entire year. This is an extremely important concept, considering the lack of reporting and utilizing these resources could be directly related with the idea of “public vs. private issues”. This indicates that a lot of victims believe themselves to be alone in their situation, and are not sure where to turn. I believe it is important we start to move towards establishing a collective feeling and shared belief among society, and we can start with Fairfax County. 

As mentioned in the article, the numbers of people being received by DVAC Pre-COVID dropped from an average of 1,200 people a year to just 800. This is a significant drop, especially considering the numbers of victims have most likely increased significantly due to quarantine and being in close quarters with potential offenders. 

With COVID, individuals have started to reach a state of feeling no longer understood among society, and reporting or even committing acts of violence, sexual or not, becomes seemingly inconsequential in this state. I believe addressing this state of mind is the next step in bringing awareness to domestic violence. 

Riley Sims 

Centreville, VA

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