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DVRC Is hiring a new Executive Director. To see the position and apply, please click here.

After 22 years as the Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Mary Roda to retire

The Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County (DVRC) announced today that Mary Roda will retire from her role as Executive Director of the organization effective July 5, 2022. Roda will continue to offer support to the agency’s operations during the transition, while the DVRC’s Board of Directors will launch a national search for the institution’s next leader.

Russ Partridge, President of the DVRC Board, said, “Mary Roda has been a leader in the fight to end domestic violence not only in South County but across the State of Rhode Island for more than two decades. Mary’s leadership at DVRC has made it possible for those experiencing domestic violence to have a safe place to recover and begin again.”

Roda joined the DVRC of South County as Executive Director on May 1, 2000 after having served as Executive Director—YMCA of South County from 1997-2000 and Director of Development at South County Hospital from 1988-1997. Of her career plans when she accepted the Executive Director position at DVRC, Roda said, “I took a job. I found my passion. I was planning on staying five years, but I’ve been here 22!” Although she had never been employed in the field of domestic violence previously, she was a member of the DVRC’s Advisory Committee before applying for the position.

Deborah DeBare, who was the DVRC Executive Director for five years, led the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) for 22 years, and is now the Senior Deputy Director at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, has known and worked with Roda for decades. DeBare met Roda when she was at South County hospital and said, “I knew once I met her that I wanted to harness her energy and put it to work for the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County. I recruited her to join the Advisory Committee and the rest is history!”

Over the years, there have always been complications and crises, including loss of funding and struggles to recruit and retain the right people for the DVRC staff at times. The first big challenge Roda faced in her position came on day one in the job when a state employee called to inform her she was taking over the DVRC’s court offices. More recently, having to navigate the many obstacles to providing client services during the Covid-19 pandemic required extensive changes to how the DVRC operates. But under Roda’s leadership, the staff quickly adjusted and kept the organization running. Roda reflected on the early stages of the pandemic, saying, “When society closed down, we continued to offer our services, albeit differently. The staff was phenomenal! Support groups were held on Zoom, with the necessary security precautions. Counseling was held by phone. The Helpline was answered as usual. We purchased air purifiers and masks, installed dividers between the clients and the staff members, and sent required reports electronically instead of in hard copy. We did everything possible to ensure a safe place for our clients.” Some of these remote practices continue, which helps save on the cost of fuel.

When asked about her most fulfilling moments as DVRC Executive Director, Roda named several: “Seeing the accomplishments of people we have helped, living safely and independently, employed, with children who are growing to their potential. Receiving updates, letters, and donations from people we have helped. And observing a society that is acknowledging the reality and horror of domestic violence and is now willing to do something about it.”

Those Roda has worked with also recognize the contributions she has made in Rhode Island and beyond. DeBare emphasized, “Having had the gift of working as a colleague with Mary for over twenty-five years, I can personally attest to her immeasurable energy, her ability to connect with people and to engage them in the work of the Resource Center. Whether she was with me at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., lobbying for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, or spearheading local partnerships to keep the focus on the needs of survivors, Mary has been a magnet, attracting talent and resources to the organization.”

Roda said she is most proud that DVRC continues “to be a well-respected, valued organization within the community, the longevity of our small staff and that we care about each other, that we are a financially secure non-profit that is true to our mission, and that I’ve had the privilege to serve this agency.”

As for Roda’s legacy, DeBare said, “It is clearly evident in the strength of the organization, its programming, its focus on survivors, and its solid reputation. She led by example, putting in the hard work to serve on statewide committees, ensuring the needs of South County were represented, and the safety of survivors remained the central focus of the Resource Center’s work.”

Partridge echoed that sentiment, saying, “Mary has made a career of making life better for those in her community. She will be sorely missed.

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Who We Are

The Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC) of South County is a Trauma-Informed Agency whose main focus is to help victims of domestic violence break the cycle of abuse in their lives. Each department, Advocacy, Case Management, and Counseling are all here to provide resources, guidance, and support to help victims get to safety, become independent, and heal.

The DVRC is working to change the social norms that contribute to the continuance of violence. Our goal is to help a victim break the cycle of violence and heal in order to have healthy relationships in the future.

All services at the DVRC of South County are free, confidential, and always handled by trained professionals.

Programs & Resources

Help Line

Help Line

The help line is available to assist you 24/7
800.494.8100

Office help line Monday-Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
401.782.3990

Court Advocacy

Court Advocacy

DVRC Court Office at the McGrath (Washington County) Judicial Center is open for calls and appointments only. DVRC court staff is available by appointment for restraining orders. Please call for an appointment.

401.782.3995

Residential

Residential

Safe Home, Transitional Housing, & Permanent Supportive Housing.

​If you are in need of emergency shelter due to domestic violence, please contact us.

401.782.3990

Support Groups

Support Groups

Adult Female, Adult Male, Teens, Friends & Family. Support groups are being held virtually.

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Our Mission

The Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County (DVRCSC) 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 DVRCSC is dedicated to both preventing and responding to domestic violence by working to change the social conditions, beliefs, and social actions that perpetuate abuse.

Programs

DVRC provides a comprehensive range of services for victims of domestic violence and their children, including a confidential Safe Home, Transitional Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing units, a Helpline & Drop-In Center, Support Groups, One-on-One Counseling and Court Advocacy.

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How To Help

Volunteers are an integral part of our team, and help in a variety of ways through time, talent or treasure. Opportunities include work within our Drop-In Center, hosting an event, or making a gift, which directly impacts the clients we serve.

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Donate

All of our services – residential, counseling, court advocacy – are provided free of charge to all of our clients regardless of their financial situation. Your gift allows us to continue this life-saving work by directly assisting clients and their children who are experiencing domestic violence.

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Safety Planning

WHAT IS A SAFETY PLAN?
A safety plan is a set of actions that can help lower your risk of being hurt by your partner. It includes information specific to you and your life that will increase your safety at school, home, and other places that you go on a daily basis.

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