PAVSA Seeing In-Person Help, Sexual Assault Exams Increase After Quarantine

DULUTH, Minn.- Staff at the PAVSA facility for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse in Duluth say that after Minnesota’s stay at home order lifted, more victims are seeking in-person help at PAVSA and at local hospitals.

Essentia and St. Luke’s Hospitals in Duluth, Superior, and Two Harbors provide free forensic medical exams by any of the 12 nurses who have been trained by PAVSA.

Meanwhile, the facility on First Street is also seeing more people coming in for in-person counseling and support, which was put on hold during most of the quarantine.

Staff said with screening, temperature checks, masks and constant sanitization, seeking in-person help is perfectly safe.

“It’s safe to come to the Emergency room you’re going to be screened and the nurse is going to be wearing a mask the whole time you’ll be in a mask the whole time,” said Alisha Blazevic, Lead Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or S.A.N.E. Nurse.

“During quarantine our numbers fell really low of people arriving to the hospital seeking help but now that the state quarantine’s over we have over the last couple of months our numbers have gone back to normal,” she said.

Anyone looking for help or services are encouraged to call PAVSA’s 24-hour help line at 218-726-1931. If you still aren’t comfortable being assisted in-person, they still offer virtual video calls which remains free and confidential.

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