Assault, Abuse, & Stalking can affect individuals of any age, socioeconomic status, gender, or other identifying factor. In West Virginia:

  • 1 in 6 adult women and 1 in 21 men will be the victim of an attempted or completed forcible rape in their lifetimes.

  • Nearly 82% of all sexual assaults were committed by someone known to the victim.

  • 46.6% of assaults were committed by an acquaintance

  • 7.4% by an intimate partner

  • 27.6% by 'other' family (e.g., in-law, sibling)

  • Most (70%) sex offenses were reported to have occurred at a residence or home.

  • Personal weapons, such as the offender's hands or fists were used during sex offenses, more than other weapons.

  • 64.8% of victims were juveniles under the age of 18.

  • The most frequently reported age was 15.

  • The majority of the offenders were males (93%) and adult (70.6%).

Victims of Sexual Assault may experience a range of emotions immediately following an assault and for a long time after. Everyone reacts differently and there is no "typical" reaction. Some survivors have reported some of the following reactions:

  • Denial

  • Guilt, shame, and self-blame

  • Fear and lack of trust of people

  • Lack of energy

  • Feeling a loss of control

  • Substance abuse

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the victim's fault.

Victims of Stalking similarly may experience a range of emotions if they are being stalked. Some survivors have reported some of the following reactions:

  • Feel fear of what the stalker will do

  • Feel vulnerable, unsafe, and not know who to trust

  • Feel anxious, irritable, impatient, or on edge

  • Feel depressed, hopeless, overwhelmed, tearful, or angry

  • Feel stressed, including having trouble concentrating, sleeping, or remembering things

  • Have eating problems, such as appetite loss, forgetting to eat, or overeating

  • Have flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, feelings, or memories

  • Feel confused, frustrated, or isolated because other people don't understand why you are afraid

Friends & Family can help their loved ones by not blaming the victim, providing support, and referring their loved one to a trauma-informed advocate or therapist.

  • Grief, sadness, and depression

  • Anger and irritability

  • Shock, disorientation, or difficulty concentrating

  • Memory loss or flashbacks

  • Problems with sleeping or eating

  • Openly emotional or emotional numbness