MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — In 1973, the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center (RDVIC) in Morgantown became the first agency to work with sexual assault victims in the state of West Virginia. On Friday, it celebrated its 50th anniversary at Hotel Morgan.

“There were no agencies and no real organized support for victims of sexual assault. Rape was basically a free crime, children weren’t protected, the age of consent for a girl was 10. It wasn’t even against the law to molest boys and we knew that something had to be done,” Board of Directors Member of RDVIC Virginia Hopkins said.

The agency provides free services to victims in Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties. If you are outside of the counties, you are still able to call for help and they will connect you with the assistance needed.

The agency also provides a 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention and advocates to be with victims throughout their entire experience if they want it including going to the hospital, speaking with law enforcement and being present throughout the entirety of court appearances.

The RDVIC currently has a shelter that can provide short-term housing for 10 to 15 people. In addition to raising funds for a new shelter, the RDVIC is also working on changing the current West Virginia law that does not recognize rape between spouses.

Below are the numbers to contact for the respective counties:

  • Monongalia: 304-292-0204
  • Preston: 304-329-1687
  • Taylor: 304-265-6534

You can also contact the RDVIC through their website here.