The most dangerous place for many women and children is their home

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — Even in a worldwide pandemic, being at home is still the most dangerous health crisis faced by many women and children.

Family Services has been responding to these heartbreaking situations in Forsyth County since the 1980s. For families suffering from physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, our caring and professional staff provide escape strategies.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Family Services is asking everyone in the community to open their eyes and their hearts because community support can change and even save lives.

And while these times may be unprecedented, Forsyth County stands together against domestic violence. The impact of COVID-19 has made the need for support and services for those experiencing domestic abuse more critical than ever.

“This year, as 2020 overwhelms all of us with one crisis after another, we ask you to remember those who face challenges more violent and tragic than most of us can imagine,” RISE Campaign Chair Anne Rainey Rokahr said. “With COVID-19 limiting every step of life, abused women and children are now literally trapped at home with their abusers.”

Domestic abuse is one of the most complex and damaging assaults that anyone can endure. The injuries are both physical and emotional, made worse by the perpetrator’s close connection to the family.

Last year law enforcement in Forsyth County reported more than 10,000 incidents of domestic violence. Family Services was ready to help each and every victim.

In 2019, Family Services was able to:

  • Answer Crisis Line calls, which are up 67% from a year ago.
  • Handle 1,957 Crisis Line calls
  • Provide safe shelter to 188 women and children.
  • Support 1,547 victims in-person for crisis intervention, safety planning, and support groups.
  • Manage the Domestic Violence Shelter resulting in 6,578 nights of care.
  • Help 75 children who stayed in our Shelter. The majority are eyewitnesses to violence. Through Family Services’ trauma-focused behavioral services, children are offered the opportunity to start their healing journey.

Normally, Family Services would have several events and activities to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while those activities will look different this year, the mission and purpose remain the same – Together we are working to end domestic violence, to show our solidarity with survivors and to raise $60,000 for services that not only support victims but also educate our community about domestic abuse and prevention to help break the cycle of violence.

“We are counting on you this year more than ever to help Family Services,” RISE Campaign Co-chair Christy Cox Spencer said. “This is your chance to make a difference.”

If you or someone you know is in need of support, Family Services’ offices and shelter are a safe space to get free and completely 24 hours a day. To learn more, visit

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Opportunities and Events

Program staff and survivors as well as the chair and co-chair of RISE are available for media interviews during October.

Fact-A-Day (Facebook, Instagram)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 31

Throughout the month of October, Family Services will be releasing a Social Media Fact-A-Day, featuring video clips from local survivors, female business owners, news personalities, and community activists and advocates. Many of the women featured will not only be sharing a sobering fact about intimate partner violence, but they will also be sharing some of their personal experiences and testimonies. For information visit

Day of Unity (Zoom and Facebook Live)

Noon, Friday, Oct. 2.

In past years, our community has come together on the first Friday of October at Family Services to remember and honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence; to support families, friends and survivors; to connect those who work to end violence; and to encourage everyone to actively work toward safer relationships and communities.

“As we plan for October 2020, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated domestic violence across our community, the nation and the world, Director of Clinical Services Rebecca Nagaishi said. “The very thing that protects us from the virus, social isolation, increases the risk of abuse and adds additional barriers to accessing support and resources. Coming together to support our community’s efforts to address interpersonal violence is more important than ever.”

The Kimpton Goes Purple

Friday, Oct. 2.

The Kimpton Cardinal in downtown Winston-Salem announced that the Reynolds Building will be illuminated in purple Friday, October 2 to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Join us as a Sponsor for our RISE Against Domestic Violence Campaign! Learn more at

Presenting Advocate  $15,000 — Houses three women and their children for their entire stay at the shelter

  • Exclusive honorary Police Chief for a Day at the WSPD with Chief Catrina Thompson
  • First-tier promotional presence in print broadcast, digital communications, and direct mail
  • Private, behind the scenes tour of our Domestic Violence Shelter and Family Justice Center
  • Branded “Fact-A-Day” video messages throughout October
  • Opportunity to talk to all Family Services employees

Motivating Advocate  $10,000 — Pays for shelter operating costs for 10 days

  • Second-tier promotional presence in print, broadcast, and digital communications
  • Private, behind the scenes tour of our Domestic Violence Shelter and Family Justice Center
  • One free advertisement in our coveted TV Week spot in the Winston-Salem Journal

Uplifting Advocate $7,500 — Pays for food and beverages for shelter residents for 6 months

  • Third-tier promotional presence in print, broadcast, and digital communications
  • Three free advertisements in our coveted TV Week spot in the Winston-Salem Journal

Inspiring Advocate $5,000 — Houses one woman and her child for their entire stay

  • Third-tier promotional presence in print, broadcast, and digital communications
  • One free advertisement in our coveted TV Week spot in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Affirming Advocate $2,500 — Covers the cost of shelter utilities for 10 weeks

  • Acknowledgment on agency website

Sustaining Advocate $1,000 — Pays for shelter operating costs for a single day

  • Acknowledgment on agency website

Individual Advocate $100 — Covers the cost of bus passes for shelter residents for one month


About Family Services: 

 For nearly 115 years, Family Services has provided high-quality programs and services that help families resolve crises, protect victims of family violence, and prepare preschoolers to be ready to succeed in school. We are reaching beyond the 10,000 families we serve each year to pursue to major goals that are essential for the well-being of our entire community:
  1. Making quality early childhood development programs available to every child in Forsyth County, and
  2. Ensuring that all children and families are free from the threat of family violence.
To do this we are building an unprecedented network of local organizations and action-minded leaders who share our commitment to community-wide change. These partnerships are generating innovative ways to help every child and family in Forsyth County reach their full potential.