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Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Center, its director recognized for efforts to end sexual violence

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The Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Center and its executive director were recognized this week for decades of effort to end sexual violence.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II commemorated the UOVSAC's 35 years of service to the Ohio Valley with a 2014 U.S. Attorney's Award.

“The Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Center is one of the most important social service organizations in our region,” Ihlenfeld said. “This group of dedicated individuals strives daily to provide healing for children, adults and families affected by sexual assault, and works to end sexual violence through counseling, education and advocacy.

"Thanks to the Center, victims of sexual violence have a place to go for support as they begin the very long and difficult road to recovery.”

Ihlenfeld also presented UPVSAC's Linda Reeves with an award for her service to the center for the past two decades, including 13 years as its executive director.

“Linda’s dedication to helping survivors is unmatched and her tireless efforts over the last twenty years have greatly improved the response to sexual assault in the Ohio Valley,” he said.

Opened in 1978, the Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to the community in dealing with the crime of sexual assault. Services include crisis intervention, advocacy, support services, individual and group counseling, and community education. The Center primarily serves Wetzel, Brooke, Marshall, Ohio and Hancock counties in West Virginia, and Jefferson and Belmont counties in Ohio. It does not refuse services to anyone regardless of where they reside, and all services are provided free of charge.

The Center provided direct victim services to over 1,000 children, youth, and adults in the Upper Ohio Valley in 2013. In addition, the Center provided community awareness and prevention education programs to over 2,500 children and adults on issues related to sexual violence last year.