Communications

Uplifting domestic violence awareness through communications

Latest News

  • Sharing the latest news in DV prevention and awareness. 
  • We respond to domestic violence homicides, and high-profile cases in the news, in order to raise up the voices and experiences of survivors, honor the lives lost, and ensure media coverage is accurate, sensitive, and well-informed.

Public Awareness Campaigns

We conduct public awareness campaigns throughout the year to keep the issue of domestic violence visible in our state and to engage Rhode Islanders in saying “No More!” Together, we can end domestic violence.

For Press/Media

At the RICADV, we work with the media to raise awareness about domestic violence, the services and resources available, and the ways our communities can get involved to help prevent and end abuse.

 

Media Contact:

Alicia Mickelson
Director of Communications 
Tel: 401.467.9940
alicia@ricadv.org

If you are a member of the media on deadline and are reaching out before or after 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri. or on a weekend, please contact the state Helpline: 1-800-494-8100

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Latest News

2022 Releases and Statements

Releases

The RICADV names Lucy Rios as new executive director

By Jim Berson, interim chairman, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors

WARWICK R.I., Aug. 10, 2022 – We are overjoyed to announce that the RICADV Board of Directors has officially named Lucy Rios as the RICADV’s executive director. Lucy has been a leader in the movement to end domestic violence in Rhode Island for nearly two decades, and her wealth of knowledge will continue moving the mission forward to end abuse and prevent violence before it starts in our state.

Lucy has dedicated 19 years to supporting survivors of domestic violence and their families in Rhode Island through several capacities at the RICADV, including as interim executive director, deputy director and leading the prevention and communications teams. Her commitment to catalyzing change and building a world without violence through community building and prevention work has been instrumental. The creation of the RICADV’s Ten Men program, now entering its 9th year gathering and supporting men as aspiring allies in violence prevention, is just a glimpse of the innovative and meaningful work Lucy has led.

Reflecting on her many years serving directly in the movement to end domestic abuse, Lucy shared, “Working with survivors and the entire R.I. community has been an honor. Every day, I’m re-energized by the community and members of the RICADV’s task force SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships), and the opportunity to make the world a better place alongside them. It is a privilege to do this work.”

The RICADV and entire state of Rhode Island are in caring hands with Lucy at the helm of the statewide coalition dedicated to ending domestic violence, cultivating a world where all people can live without violence or fear and thrive. We look forward to this next chapter in the RICADV’s history, and the future we will create – together.

About the RICADV:  The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island and to provide statewide leadership on the issue. The organization has ten member agencies, strives to create justice for victims and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The RICADV’s network of member agencies provides a wide array of services for victims, including 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. 

Statements

Statement regarding the domestic violence murder of Grya Pihlkrantz

By Lori Ann Hiener, interim executive director, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, and Lucy Rios, executive director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

CHARLESTOWN, R.I., Sept. 21, 2022 – We are heartbroken by the domestic violence homicide of 45-year-old Grya Pihlkrantz, a loving friend, sister and granddaughter, whose life was stolen from her. She should be here today.

Grya was stabbed and killed by Alex Rolin, 25, at the Charlestown home both Grya and Rolin lived at. This is a devastating reminder that domestic abuse can happen between roommates. Rolin has a violent history, including weapons charges. While Rolin does not have a recorded domestic abuse history, a history of violence – particularly with access to guns – is a risk factor for more severe violence and homicide. 

We are concerned for the third roommate who was home at the time of this homicide and witnessed the aftermath of this violence. In the wake of this homicide, it is not only Grya’s loved ones who are feeling the impacts of losing her to this senseless violence and the roommate who witnessed this – the entire community is left reeling from this murder, which will affect generations of Rhode Islanders. Domestic violence happens in every neighborhood, town and city in our state. As community members, it is so important we learn about – and can identify – lethality risk factors including history of violence and the presence of weapons. 

How you can help: As relatives, friends, coworkers and neighbors, we can help keep victims and their children safe and prevent another tragedy. If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be, or if you are looking for resources for a child who has witnessed domestic violence, call the Rhode Island statewide Helpline for 24-hour support and information at 800-494-8100 or use the online chat feature at www.ricadv.org.

Calling 911 if you suspect or witness abuse is an important step to take, but there are many other ways to help. If you know or suspect someone in your life is a victim of domestic violence, you can help that person stay safe. Listen, and express your concerns without judgment. Ask the person what you can do for them and check in consistently. Help the person create a plan that will keep them safe when abuse occurs and connect them with local resources. Additional information can be found at www.ricadv.org

About the DVRC: The Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County (DVRC) is a nonprofit agency that works toward a future free of violence, and to build a community in which each individual shares the responsibility to create a culture of safety and personal dignity. We work collaboratively to offer safety, support, advocacy, education and a network of services to the residents of Washington County. The DVRC is dedicated to both preventing and responding to domestic violence by working to change the social conditions, beliefs and social actions that perpetuate abuse. For more information visit www.dvrcsc.org.

About the RICADV:  The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island and to provide statewide leadership on the issue. The organization has ten member agencies, strives to create justice for victims and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The RICADV’s network of member agencies provides a wide array of services for victims, including 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. 

Statement regarding the domestic violence murder of Courtney Huard

By Toni Marie Gomes, executive director, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, and Lucy Rios, interim executive director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

CUMBERLAND, R.I., July 22, 2022 – We are deeply saddened by the domestic violence homicide of Courtney Huard, who was fatally shot by her husband, Eric Huard, in their Cumberland home nearly a month ago, before he turned the gun on himself. Devastatingly, their children were home at the time of the murder-suicide and are now left without their parents. This domestic violence murder-suicide happened just before the start of what would have been an ordinary school day.

Courtney was a person – a friend, neighbor, community member, parent and a loved one to many. Courtney had dreams, goals and aspirations, all cut short by the final form of domestic violence: Homicide. The aftermath of this murder-suicide impacts not only those who loved Courtney and Eric, but the community at large and the children who witnessed this violence.

In 2020 alone, children were reported present in 1,368 domestic violence incidents in Rhode Island that resulted in arrest, per the 2022 Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Factbook – a number that reflects only a percentage of the children witnessing violence at home, since domestic abuse is underreported. Each year in our state, children are present in nearly 2,000 police-involved domestic violence incidents. A total of 486 children who witnessed abuse received services from the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s network of member agencies in 2020, and because domestic violence is underreported, we know we are reaching only some of the children impacted by abuse in Rhode Island. 

The children present during this murder-suicide in Cumberland are not only grieving the loss of their parents and navigating this crisis of domestic violence and gun violence right now – this hole in their lives and the trauma they have experienced will impact their futures and generations of their family. Witnessing domestic violence as a child can lead to serious long-term health and development issues, including depression, drug use, poor academic achievement and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Domestic abuse happens every day, in every Rhode Island city and town, and affects us all. Domestic violence is a community issue that calls for a community response. 

As individuals, as a community and as a state, we have a role and responsibility to name domestic violence, know the warning signs, support those impacted by abuse and find ways to safely intervene. Rhode Island must continue to strengthen the response to domestic violence to ensure no more lives are lost and no more children experience the traumatic loss of their loved ones. 

How you can help: As relatives, friends, coworkers and neighbors, we can help keep victims and their children safe and prevent another tragedy. If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be, or if you are looking for resources for a child who has witnessed domestic violence, call the Rhode Island statewide Helpline for 24-hour support and information at 800-494-8100 or use the online chat feature at www.ricadv.org or www.bvacri.org

Calling 911 if you suspect or witness abuse is an important step to take, but there are many other ways to help. If you know or suspect someone in your life is a victim of domestic violence, you can help that person stay safe. Listen, and express your concerns without judgment. Ask the person what you can do for them and check in consistently. Help the person create a plan that will keep them safe when abuse occurs and connect them with local resources. Additional information can be found at www.ricadv.org

2021 Releases and Statements

Helpline Available 24/7

The confidential statewide Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-494-8100 or using the online chat here. The Helpline is for all victims of violent crime, including domestic and dating abuse, and those looking for more information to help a victim of violence.

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