Your donation helps to sustain critical mental health services and has a tangible impact on sexual violence survivors.
PAVSA is dedicated to the elimination of sexual violence in southern Saint Louis County. Our core values include free and accessible services that are victim-centered and victim-driven. We are committed to -
- SUPPORTING victims of sexual violence through advocacy and counseling services
- EDUCATING and building awareness in the community
- ADVOCATING for social change in the many systems that interact with victims following a sexual assault.
We are dedicated to providing services essential to assisting survivors of sexual violence throughout their healing process.
PAVSA offers a variety of free and confidential victim services including -
- 24-hour crisis line
- Support advocacy
- Hospital advocacy
- Legal and systems advocacy
- Professional counseling
- Support groups
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program
PAVSA's victim services are the primary focus of programming, with the goal of assisting survivors to obtain a sense of justice, heal from the trauma following an assault, and regain control over their own lives. All direct services offered by PAVSA are free and confidential for victims.
PAVSA also provides education to the community including
- Community awareness events
- Outreach to vulnerable populations
- Intensive educational groups for adjudicated youth and adults, and in treatment facilities.
PAVSA advocates for lasting change in the systems that work with victims as well as providing training and technical assistance for other victim service providers. As a part of professional training, we train police officers, medical personnel, prosecutors, social workers, therapists, domestic violence advocates, and other professionals on topics including rape trauma syndrome, victim-centered responses to survivors, multi-disciplinary protocols, mandatory reporting, sexual harassment and PAVSA services. PAVSA coordinates a Sexual Assault Multi-disciplinary Action Response Team (SMART) that includes medical personnel, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, mental health professionals, domestic violence advocates, caregivers for people with disabilities, advocates for the homeless, and social service providers. The team works to ensure victim-centered and culturally competent systems responses to survivors of sexual violence. Over the past four years, PAVSA has worked with local hospitals to develop a unique community-based Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. In this program, on-call, SANE-trained nurses respond to hospital emergency rooms to perform sexual assault evidentiary exams that are essential to the comfort of victims and to the successful prosecution of offenders. In another significant collaborative effort, PAVSA partnered with Mending the Sacred Hoop to conduct a Safety and Accountability Audit of the criminal justice response to Native American survivors of sexual violence, the first of its kind to be done in the United States. The audit indicated several gaps in services for Native women as well as the predominance of Native women who are being trafficked or prostituted in the Duluth area. PAVSA has recently received funding to form a task force to begin addressing issues of trafficking and prostitution in partnership with AICHO, the American Indian Community Housing Organization.
PAVSA - Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault marks its 41st anniversary of providing services to victims of sexual violence, their families, friends and the community-at-large. PAVSA was created in 1975 by a small group of women who wanted to address the issue of rape in our community. Since obtaining non-profit status in 1976, PAVSA has developed into a staffed agency with a large volunteer base that provides comprehensive services to survivors of all forms of sexual violence. Throughout its existence, PAVSA has provided services that are designed to meet the specific needs of survivors in our community. In recent years, PAVSA has received state and national attention for the creation of its best practice approach and innovative programs for survivors of sexual violence.