PREA Victim Advocacy

SAHC is working to provide rape crisis advocacy to incarcerated victims and survivors. No one deserves to be sexually abused. Inmates have a right to be safe while serving their time. Rape is not a part of the penalty.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law passed in 2003 that was designed to eliminate rape in detention. The law applies to every jail, prison, police lockup, juvenile facility, and community confinement facility in the country. It stipulates that every detention facility have a zero tolerance policy toward sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. It also mandates many best practices to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Jails and prisons in West Virginia have been working diligently to implement these mandated practices.

One of these practices is to involve rape crisis advocates in cases of sexual abuse and harassment in detention. SAHC has two advocates who work with incarcerated victims and survivors within the Northern Regional Jail in Marshall County. The PREA Advocates provide confidential support to these inmates through phone calls, letters, and one-on-one visits. The PREA Advocates also work with family members whose loved one has been assaulted behind bars. Each jail and prison has its own procedures to contact the PREA Advocate.


If you are in the community and are concerned about an incarcerated loved one’s safety in prison, call SAHC’s hotline at 1-800-884-7242 or the main office at 304-234-1783. You will be connected with the PREA Advocate.


For additional resources and information for victims and family members, contact Just Detention International.