Welcome to the National Center for Victims of Crime

We are the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Please join us as we forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

West Virginia

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in West Virginia.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in West Virginia.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The West Virginia State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to find help with your application in your county. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

Back to Top

Criminal Stalking Laws

W. Va. Code § 61-2-9a. Stalking; harassment; penalties; definitions. (2008)
(a)   Any person who repeatedly follows another knowing or having reason to know that the conduct causes the person followed to reasonably fear for his or her safety or suffer significant emotional distress, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county or regional jail for not more than six months or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(b)   Any person who repeatedly harasses or repeatedly makes credible threats against another is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county or regional jail for not more than six months or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(c)   Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section in violation of an order entered by a circuit court, magistrate court or family court judge, in effect and entered pursuant to part 48-5-501, et seq., part 48-5-601, et seq. or 48-27-403 of this code is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county jail for not less than ninety days nor more than one year or fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(d)   A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section occurring within five years of a prior conviction is a felony punishable by incarceration in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or fined not less than three thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(e)   Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any person against whom a protective order for injunctive relief is in effect pursuant to the provisions of section five hundred one [§ 48-27-501], article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code who has been served with a copy of said order or section six hundred eight [§ 48-5-608], article five, chapter forty-eight of this code who is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony and punishable by incarceration in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or fined not less than three thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(f)    For the purposes of this section:


(1)  "Bodily injury" means substantial physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition;

(2)  "Credible threat" means a threat of bodily injury made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat and with the result that a reasonable person would believe that the threat could be carried out;

(3)  "Harasses" means willful conduct directed at a specific person or persons which would cause a reasonable person mental injury or emotional distress;

(4)  "Immediate family" means a spouse, parent, stepparent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, child, stepchild, sibling, or any person who regularly resides in the household or within the prior six months regularly resided in the household; and

(5)  "Repeatedly" means on two or more occasions.

(g)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent lawful assembly and petition for the lawful redress of grievances, including, but not limited to: Any labor or employment relations issue; demonstration at the seat of federal, state, county or municipal government; activities protected by the West Virginia Constitution or the United States Constitution or any statute of this State or the United States.

(h)   Any person convicted under the provisions of this section who is granted probation or for whom execution or imposition of a sentence or incarceration is suspended is to have as a condition of probation or suspension of sentence that he or she participate in counseling or medical treatment as directed by the court.

(i)  Upon conviction, the court may issue an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim for a period not to exceed ten years. The length of any restraining order shall be based upon the seriousness of the violation before the court, the probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim or his or her immediate family. The duration of the restraining order may be longer than five years only in cases when a longer duration is necessary to protect the safety of the victim or his or her immediate family.

(j)  It is a condition of bond for any person accused of the offense described in this section that the person is to have no contact, direct or indirect, verbal or physical, with the alleged victim.

(k)  Nothing in this section may be construed to preclude a sentencing court from exercising its power to impose home confinement with electronic monitoring as an alternative sentence.

(l)  The Governor's Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction, after consultation with representatives of labor, licensed domestic violence programs and rape crisis centers which meet the standards of the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, is authorized to promulgate legislative rules and emergency rules pursuant to article three [§§ 29A-3-1 et seq.], chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, establishing appropriate standards for the enforcement of this section by state, county, and municipal law-enforcement officers and agencies.

Back to Top