The Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley developed out of a commitment by staff members at New River Community Action to begin to meet the unique needs of battered women. An office was established in Christiansburg, Va., and the Women’s Resource Center was opened in June of 1977. Financed by a Community Service Administration grant, the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley’s programs and operations were administered through New River Community Action. The director and other support personnel were hired through New River Community Action. Personnel funding came predominantly through CETA and VISTA funding.
In 1978, an advisory group consisting of community representatives was formed to develop guidelines and future directions for the Women’s Resource Center. In 1979, the Women’s Resource Center incorporated and elected a Board of Directors comprised of representatives of the Fourth Planning District to function as its executive body.
In 1980, the Women’s Resource Center relocated to Radford, VA. Radford City Council agreed to rent a facility – a former youth home – to the Women’s Resource Center at $12 per year. As a private, non-profit corporation, the Women’s Resource Center began to build a broad base of community support and financial backing.
Services and support staff have grown in order to meet the needs of the New River Valley’s women in crisis. The center added a crisis-intervention Sexual Assault program in 1983 along with a great commitment to community awareness and education that relates to family violence issues. In 1985, the Women’s Resource Center added a Victim/Witness Program to provide court information and advocacy to victims of domestic and sexual violence. In 1987, a Children’s Program was added to provide services and crisis intervention to children who come to the Women’s Resource Center shelter with their mothers. A Child Sexual Abuse Program was added in 1989 to address the growing number of sexually abused children.
In 1990, Radford City Council transferred the title of the shelter facility to the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley.
In 1991, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the City of Radford $365,000 in Community Development Block Grant Funds to acquire a larger shelter for the Women’s Resource Center. The Women’s Resource Center moved its shelter operation to the current facility in June 1993.
In 1997, the Women’s Resource Center expanded its community development by creating Coordinating Councils on domestic violence and sexual assault in each of its localities. Conferences and trainings on issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault became available to the community. PEACELINE, the Women’s Resource Center’s original curriculum on dating violence and sexual assault prevention program, was added for area middle and high school aged children.
In 2000, the Women’s Resource Center in collaboration with the City of Radford, received a second Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development Block Grant and a SHARE Expansion grant to build a Transitional Housing Facility to house victims of domestic violence for a two-year period. The eight-apartment facility and program, Cornerstone, opened in August of 2001.