Northland organization raises money to combat sexual assault

PAVSA's Annual Autumn Event raises money to provide free services to Northlanders in need.
PAVSA's Annual Autumn Event raises money to provide free services to Northlanders in need.(Reporter: Mitchell Zimmermann)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 9:28 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) held their annual Autumn Event Friday to raise money to end sexual assault in St. Louis County.

The event featured a silent and live auction, in efforts to keep services, like a 24-hour hotline and counseling, free to those who need it.

According to the CDC, over half of women and around one in three men have experiences sexual violence through physical contact in their lifetimes.

Sarah Niemi, the Executive Director of PAVSA, said the event helps them provide several services to those in need.

“We provide a 24-hour helpline and anywhere from short term crisis services to long term mental health counseling and legal representation,” she said.

Those services aren’t able to be carried out without the help of a handful of hardworking staff. Niemi said she hoped that local leaders could step up to secure more funding for the organization.

“A lot of times the staff that we have, there’s a lot of strain put on them that, you know, anytime that we have the funds available to increase staffing levels, is, you know, really helpful for us too,” she said.

According to Niemi, at last year’s Autumn Event they were able to raise around $85,000.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of PAVSA’s services, you can visit their website or call their helpline at (218)-726-1931.