JCADA would like to take a moment to send its​ deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jaelynn Willey, who was taken off of life support last night. Her death comes after the tragic shooting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Maryland​. 

Jaelynn and the shooter were reported to have recently been in some type of​relationship. Unfortunately, this is a reality that JCADA knows all too well - that abusive relationships can and sometimes do turn deadly.  Although previous violence is a predictor of future violence, it is not a requirement for the relationship to turn deadly. In 1 in 3 intimate partner homicides, the homicide itself is the first act of physical violence in the relationship. 

The most dangerous time for a victim is when they chose to leave an abusive relationship.

If you or someone you know is experiencing power-based violence, be it domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking please call JCADA's free and confidential helpline at 1-877-88-JCADA(52232). JCADA is committed to providing high-quality services to all residents of the Greater Washington DC community, ​14 years of age and older, without regard to race, national origin, background, ability, faith, gender or sexual orientation. We are here to help survivors as well as their family and friends​. 

Below are some other resources available to you: 

Everyone deserves to live a safe healthy life. JCADA is deeply sorry for the loss the Willey Family and the St. Mary's County community​ is feeling today. Let's all work together so no other family and no community​ has to experience this pain.

Posted by JCADA | Topic: In the News

JCADA's SAAM Toolkit!

March 19th, 2018

Did you know April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the realities of sexual assault in our community. It is a time we take the opportunity to educate community members on sexual violence and how they can help prevent it. Sexual violence is an unfortunate reality for many of the clients seen at JCADA. Whether they have experienced childhood sexual trauma, a past sexual assault, or sexual abuse that is reoccurring in the current relationship, there is no escaping the reality that 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 14 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. As an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of power-based violence in our community, sexual violence is a pervasive problem that JCADA is looking to address through our direct services, and through our community education and prevention programs.

To learn more about sexual violence and how you can celebrate Sexual
Assault Awareness Month this year, check out JCADA’s SAAM Toolkit! The toolkit includes educational materials, sample language, and images that you can use when talking to friends and loved ones about sexual violence this April in person or via social media. The toolkit is available for download on the JCADA blog, which can be found on our website Having an issue downloading everything? Simply email Shana Brouder at to have the toolkit and various social media images sent directly to you.

Posted by JCADA | Topic: In the News

Each day in the life of a JCADA clinician is different and can change from hour to hour. A typical day may involve bearing witness to horrific traumas and connecting clients with resources to get out of a crisis. However, on a daily basis there are also celebrations of small victories and moments of healing. One of the most important parts of a clinician’s work is to hold hope for our clients. The following is based on a recent day in the office. 

9:30 am
I arrive at the office and receive a voicemail from my client telling me she cannot make our 10:00 appointment. The day before her husband violated a protective order and assaulted her, so she plans to go the Family Justice Center this morning. I call her back and provide crisis counseling over the phone. We plan to meet another day after she has had a chance to take care of the immediate legal issues. Next, I reach out to our Staff Attorney who assisted the client in obtaining her final protective order and will be able to help her in filing for an extension. 

10:00 am

I take some time to prepare for a support group I am facilitating this afternoon. The session will focus on self-esteem and self-compassion. I print out some handouts and prepare supplies needed for an art therapy activity.

11:30am I have a session with a client during which she shares recent challenges she has been facing at home where she still lives with her abuser. I provide her with some information about common reactions to trauma to help normalize some of her feelings.  I also empower her with knowledge about how her past and current traumas are impacting her.

I am on duty to answer the Helpline to assist clients and new callers. Between calls I catch up on my notes and respond to messages.

1:30pm I have a session with a client whose husband has been pressuring her through family members to drop the protective order against him. She is working on becoming more financially independent and stable, so he has less control over her and her children. We discuss her progress with her goals and coping skills that will allow her to decrease her anxiety and concentrate on the next steps she is taking to advance her career.

2:30pm I work on completing an application for a client who I am nominating for the Ruth Rales Emergency Assistance Fund, a fund we use to grant clients small loans when they are unable to cover certain costs themselves. Luckily, this client meets all the necessary criteria! She needs assistance with an urgent medical issue and cannot afford the copays. I meet with our Victim Advocate to review the application.

3:00pm I set up the room where I will be holding the support group.

3:30-5:30pm Clients arrive for the support group and we discuss self-esteem and self-compassion. The clients identify how their abusive relationships and traumas have impacted their self-esteem. We do an art therapy activity while listening to music. Clients then share their drawings and responses to the activity. Before we wrap up, each participant shares one activity they plan to do as a gift to themselves this week, such as going for a walk or taking time to drink a cup of coffee with a friend.  

5:30pm Time to go home, recharge, and practice some self-care, so I can come back ready for the next day!

Posted by JCADA | Topic: Clinical