PAVSA is dedicated to the elimination of sexual violence in Southern St. Louis County through supporting victims, educating the community, and advocating for change. Our core values include free and accessible services that are victim-centered and victim-driven. We are committed to providing support services for victims of sexual violence, educating and building awareness in the community and advocating for social change in the many systems that interact with victims following a sexual assault.
Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) is a nonprofit rape crisis center in southern St. Louis County that helps area residents cope with the aftermath of sexual violence. Services include various options for people who have been victimized, ranging from immediate crisis intervention to long-term counseling. Designed to help people succeed during all stages of their experience, PAVSA’s victim services include: immediate crisis intervention on a 24-hour crisis line, specially trained medical personnel (SANE program) to assist in emergency medical care, short- and long-term individual counseling services with a specialized counseling staff, sexual assault therapeutic support groups to gain support amongst peers, and advocacy to assist people with the medical, legal, and personal ramifications of sexual violence. PAVSA services are free and confidential. All are welcome.
Educating the Community
PAVSA 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. Staff provides presentations to middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, civic and faith-based groups and other organizations throughout southern St. Louis County regarding the dynamics of sexual violence, risk reduction, and ways to intervene in potentially violent situations. PAVSA also coordinates a number of awareness events throughout the year including Take Back the Night and Solidarity.
Advocating for Change
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) and is currently collaborating with the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) on a collaborative project to coordinate a community task force focused on addressing the issue of trafficking in our community.