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West Virginia

State Overview - State Summary - State Projects
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State Overview

Domestic Violence Legislation:Yes (§18.2-57.2 and see definitions)
Sexual Assault Legislation:§61-8B
NIBRS Status:Certified
Additional IBR Elements:Yes
Law Enforcement DV System:Incident-Based
Service Provider DV System:Summary
Service Provider SA System:Summary

State Summary

West Virginia does have broad domestic violence legislation that includes same-sex romantic partners. The state is certified to report NIBRS data to the FBI. The West Virginia State Police collects incident-based data from all law enforcement agencies in the state, including a separate optional domestic violence incident report. Data elements related to domestic violence are collected in addition to what is required for NIBRS; these include:

  • response time
  • action taken (arrest, referral, contact magistrate, transport)
  • name of complainant
  • whether complainant has called in the past
  • number of times the complainant called in the past
  • protection order on file at time of incident
  • protection order filed after incident
  • incident violated a protection order
  • time involved in the incident
The State Police will produce ad hoc reports upon request. The Division of Criminal Justice Services' Statistical Analysis Center has worked with domestic and sexual violence statistics; several reports are available on its Web site. In 2009, The Center director received the Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for the Center's creativity, hard work and dedication to addressing and preventing sexual violence. The Center director serves on the state Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Advisory Board, the Key Players in Rape Prevention Committee, and the West Virginia Sexual Assault Response Technical Team. Although no stalking data are currently collected, there are plans to collect this information in the future. There is no state database of protection orders.

The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects summary information from all of the 14 licensed domestic violence service providers in the state. The providers enter information directly into a database, which is submitted to the Coalition annually. The Coalition is in the process of developing an annual report for the public. All data are available from the Coalition Web site. The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services collects summary information from 9 rape crisis centers.

State Projects

  • West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Program
    The West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services evaluated the needs of the rural areas of the state and discovered that victims in many rural communities were provided limited and unequal access to medical care resources and facilities, which often resulted in unequal access to proper forensic examinations. This led to the development of a mobile program, serving four hospitals in four counties and providing 24/7 services to victims of sexual assault through a collaboration of financial and programmatic resources.

  • The Role of Domestic Violence Orders of Protection in Arrests
    The Division of Criminal Justice Services' Statistical Analysis Center is conducting a study to explore the role of protective orders in influencing arrests in domestic violence incidents and to examine the influence of other legal and non-legal characteristics of the offense as well as the demographic characteristics of the perpetrators and victims. A written report will also be available.

  • Violence Against Women Program Evaluations
    The Division of Criminal Justice Services' Statistical Analysis Center evaluates the state Violence Against Women STOP teams and the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Grant program. All evaluations are available from its Web site.

  • West Virginia Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Program
    Recognizing that abused women and children living in rural West Virginia are faced with unique barriers to receiving assistance, the Division of Criminal Justice Services has provided financial assistance to the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence to better research and serve diverse and traditionally underserved populations in rural communities statewide. Project activities focus on four underserved populations that exist in rural communities throughout West Virginia: elderly, disabled, racial minorities, and gay and lesbian communities.

  • West Virginia Intercollegiate Council on Sexual Violence
    The Intercollegiate Council began as a vision to establish a campus consortium to work collectively on the issue of sexual violence on the campuses of West Virginia's residential colleges and universities. The mission of the council is to significantly reduce sexual offenses through the development of educational strategies, improvement of victim service responses, facilitation of information exchange and impact on policy-making.

  • Responsible Education for Self-Protection, Establishing Confidence and Trust (RESPECT)
    RESPECT is a school-based curriculum designed to provide adolescent students grades 7-12 with the information and skills needed to prevent violence in their relationships now and in the future. Each of the five units provides class lesson plans, background information, handouts, activities, and an evaluation tool. RESPECT is designed to raise awareness and understanding about relationship violence through interactive lessons that include role plays, videos, discussions and special activities.

Available Reports

General Crime

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Violence Against Women

Sample Data Collection Forms

The West Virginia State Police collect incident-based domestic violence information using this report form:

The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects a wide range of summary data using this database:

The Office of the Court of Claims collects information from victims applying for compensation using this form:

Available Data

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Links to State Agencies and Resources