Helping Victims through Sexual Assault Nurse Examination Programs SANE

In the U.S., many ER’s are ill-equiped to properly take care of a sexually assaulted women. With untrained ER staff, they are not giving the appropriate care that a victim might need. This is due to untrained and unexperienced doctor and nursing staff. Less than half of the sexually assaulted victims are receiving emergency contraceptives or treated for a sexually transmitted disease. Even though hospitals are improving the situation, it is a slow process.

A New Jersey committee is planning to create a standard rape kit. Some things included are test tubes, saline and sample collecting materials, data collection forms and questions to ask the victim, and a diagram to help record location of injuries. Like all hospitals, SANE’s will have to get a consent from the victim. It is the victims right to decide to press charges and the evidence will be kept untill they make that decision.

SANE’s are more than evidence collectors. They are also there to support the victim physically and emotionally. They also educate the community on sexual assault. But this takes a lot of grants and other fundings. A lot of hospitals do not have SANE 24 hours a day. Many are run on volunteers and qualified ones are hard to find.

SANE has only been around for a little bit over a decade. Before, victims were retraumatized when they would come to the hospital to get medical care and for evidence collection. The nation has opened its eyes to the importance of these nurses and now more hospitals have SANE’s to improve care and evidence collection.

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