August 23, 2018
Victims of rape and sexual assault can benefit from Legal Aid’s help, even if they decide that they do not wish to contact the police or press criminal charges. With funding from a Victims of Crime Assistance (VOCA) grant, Legal Aid provides the following services:
- Legal Aid can help a victim get a protective order or a personal safety order, so that the person who committed the rape or sexual assault cannot approach, contact, or harass the victim.
- Legal Aid can work with a school or a college so that the victim has as little contact with the perpetrator as possible (by using laws that protect victims to ask for changes in class schedules or campus housing, and by speaking on behalf of victims to school administrators or in campus hearings).
- Legal Aid can work with a protective caretaker (a parent or otherwise) to seek a change in custody that will keep a sexual assault or rape victim who is under the age of 18 safe.
- Legal Aid can assist a victim who does want to press charges by keeping them informed about the criminal case, working with the prosecutor around the victim’s wishes, and asking for privacy protections.
- Legal Aid can help victims with victims’ compensation fund requests.
How do I get help from Legal Aid of West Virginia if I have been raped or sexually assaulted or my child is a victim of rape or sexual assault?
- Contact the Rape Crises Center or the Child Advocacy Center in your community. They can refer your case to Legal Aid of West Virginia for help with legal issues related to a rape or a sexual assault.
- Contact your local Legal Aid of West Virginia office for an intake at 1-866-255-4370. We have specialist staff who work on these issues in two of our local offices. These staff also provide back up and support to attorneys who work with rape and sexual assault crime victims in all 55 West Virginia counties.
Please reach out to us if you want to learn more about how Legal Aid can help a victim of rape or sexual assault.