Lakeland forensic care, advocacy services remain available 24/7

Published 8:03 am Saturday, April 4, 2020

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ST. JOSEPH — Studies have shown domestic violence rates rise with times of stress similar to what workplaces, schools, and communities around the country are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the uncertainty around COVID-19 may feel overwhelming for survivors already coping with trauma and stress, according to officials at Spectrum Health Lakeland.

Forensic Care and Advocacy, formerly known as SANE, at Spectrum Health Lakeland cares for survivors of sexual or physical assault or abuse, intimate partner violence, child and vulnerable adult abuse, and human trafficking. The care team provides crisis intervention and emotional support including nursing care and preventative medications, continual and legal advocacy, and counseling, officials said.

“Staying home is not safe for many people and 46% of the victims of violence we saw at Lakeland over the last 16 months were assaulted by someone living in their home,” said Alyssa Pliml, manager of Forensic Care and Advocacy, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “We want to ensure our community knows that even during these unprecedented times we remain committed to providing timely, compassionate care.”

A team of forensic nurses, certified sexual assault nurse examiners  and advocates are available 24 hours a day at all Lakeland emergency departments or by calling (269) 930-0005. A referral or appointment is not needed, and services are available for patients of all ages. For more information, visit