Please click here to go to Kelsey’s Story.

This Holiday You Can Make a Life-Changing Difference for Children.

The holidays are a festive time with family and friends. For survivors of domestic violence and their children, the holidays can be a time of isolation, fear, and danger. One in four women in the U.S. have been a victim of severe intimate partner violence. In our community, 10,000 children witness family violence each year.

Empowerhouse is supporting children and teens and breaking the cycle of violence to Empower a New Generation by providing them with the vital tools for greater self-esteem, better self-care, and the skills for healthy relationships. During the last year, on top of helping us to shelter and house children, you enabled us to share Empowerhouse’s prevention education materials and information at over 260 community engagements reaching 8,065 people and deliver our free, age-appropriate Healthy Relationships Classroom Presentations to over 3,700 area elementary, middle, and high school students, which covered topics like bullying, boundaries, warning signs of abusive behavior, equality and respect, and improved communication.

This holiday, please join us with your life-changing gift today to raise $75,000 by December 31st. Help break the generational cycle of violence, increase children’s safety and Empower a New Generation. A donation of any size matters. Thank you! Please click here to Donate.

Kelsey’s Story

Part 4

Kelsey’s Story is in five weekly installments:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Empowerhouse offered me support in the way of support groups. I was able to meet & make friends with other victims of domestic violence at these support groups.

I met with Susan, my court advocate, again & again & she was the first one to open my eyes to get an understanding of what Domestic Violence is & the power & control wheel. It may sound strange but I mean it when I say the abuse was so severe, I couldn’t recognize it as abuse. I had been conditioned to believe these things were my fault. Susan helped me identify what this was. Not only that, but Susan was with me to every court date regarding the trial of my abuser & subsequently, my divorce. Empowerhouse even helped me get in contact with a local legal practice who assisted me with a protective order.

Empowerhouse even offered me & my children a safe place to go. Can you imagine; a place to go when you’re unsure you have anywhere to go & your only option may be back to the house of horrors you came from? The offer alone was monumental to me. It was the first time in years I had remembered that I am a human deserving of care & safety. It reminded me I DO deserve better & I am worth protecting.

As you might imagine I didn’t have any idea how I was going to manage Christmas for the children that year. Susan offered help and got gifts arranged for my children that year. The night just before Christmas I was wrapping them up, & don’t you know there were even some gifts in there for me? There was a scarf, a candle, even a beautiful bracelet amongst a few other things. Another reminder that I am worth something. I deserve love. I deserve kindness.

They asked me to be a guest at an event they host every year called The Empty Bowl. I met another survivor. I learned there are a lot of people who care. I still have my bowl today. I fuss at anyone who touches it up on my shelf in my bedroom!


This ends Part 4 of Kelsey’s Story.
Kelsey’s Story is in five weekly installments:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, please call Empowerhouse’s free, confidential 24-hour Hotline at (540) 373-9373.

Help a survivor overcome domestic violence and get back on her feet by making a donation today

Register for the 25th Annual Empowerhouse Empty Bowl!

Empowerhouse is proud to announce the 25th Annual Empty Bowl Fundraiser.
Sunday, January 28th, 2024.

Our 25th Empty Bowl Anniversary Celebration will bring us back to the Elks Lodge (#875) on Tidewater Trail for an in-person event (with staggered timed-entry) where we will enjoy beautiful ceramic bowls (handcrafted by local potters) and the company of supporters from across our community.

This will be an afternoon event, with assigned entry times to limit wait times, plenty of room to mingle and chat with other attendees, and an assortment of tasty food delights (yes, including soup)!

Sponsorships and tickets are available starting the evening of Dec. 1 here!

Call Kathleen Harrigan at 540-372-6649 or email Kathleen at emphdevelopment@gmail.com.

On October 6th, Kathy Anderson (Empowerhouse Executive Director), Rita Girard (Vice Chair of the Empowerhouse Board), and Kathleen Harrigan (Marketing Chair) talked with Ted Schubel of New Talk 1230 AM WFVA. During their conversation Kathy talked about Empowerhouse programs with a focus on survivors, including Rita’s own story. You can listen to this informative conversation here: News Talk 1230 – Town Talk – Oct 6th Empowerhouse Episode or listen to past conversations in our archives here.

Our 15th Annual Golf Tournament

Thanks to everyone who joined us as a Sponsor or a Foursome for our 15th annual Golf Tournament to support survivors of domestic violence. We had a beautiful day at the Pendelton Golf Club. Check out the team scores here or click on the image above.

Everyone is safe! After extensive renovations, we were able to begin sheltering survivors of domestic violence back in our building at the end of 2022. Learn what happened and ways you can help here.



Every day, Empowerhouse- supporting survivors of domestic violence- provides free help to adults and their children. As an accredited domestic violence center, we do not charge for services. Thanks to the donations from our community, we are able to continue providing free services to anyone who needs them.

Each day we meet survivors of domestic violence who take steps to be safer and eliminate violence in their lives and the lives of their children. They are taking these steps despite great risk to their personal safety. They are encouraged when they enter our facilities and realize you have prepared for their arrival. Most are surprised that we are there; many have great humility and question whether someone else may be in greater need than they are; many are embarrassed and strive to overcome their fear of speaking about what is going on in their lives (and the fear of continued and real threats of violence). All are grateful for the hand up once engaged in the support you make possible.

You are making our vision a reality in Stafford, King George, Caroline, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg: creating a diverse network of community members working together to promote safe relationships, homes, and communities. Thank you for giving! Thank you for making things better with the power of your financial gift!



Please click and watch our 40-second video above.

Healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to screen for Intimate Partner Violence. The film “Ask Me” demonstrates the importance of Universal Screening which has been proven to be effective and save lives. Watch the film now on Youtube: “Ask Me”.



Survivor Stories

Board Member Trish Jackson receives award for her strength and resilience:
Survivor of Domestic Abuse Now Helping Others.
See the news item on NBC4 Washington.

Telling Amy’s Story: Learn more about the devastating impact of domestic violence through the recently released documentary, Telling Amy’s Story.
Watch the Trailer  Read Susan Butta’s Review


Please click to see Beth’s Story on our Client Stories page.


Rappahannock Council on Domestic Violence changed its name to Empowerhouse, Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence. We are celebrating this effort to help survivors move beyond victimization to healing and empowerment.
The mission, to empower survivors of domestic violence and their children to believe in themselves and build new lives filled with dignity, respect, safety and hope; and vision: to create a diverse network of community members working together to promote safe relationships, homes and communities, remain the same.  [from the May 15 2012 press release]

Empowerhouse Public Outreach Office, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm

Located at 150 Olde Greenwich Drive, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Phone 540-373-9372
Postal address P.O. Box 1007, Fredericksburg, VA 22402

Email office@empowerhouseva.org

Tax Information: Empowerhouse is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to Empowerhouse are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Empowerhouse’s tax identification number is 52-1142547.

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Hotline 540-373-9373, toll free 1-877-734-7238

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