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Friday, April 24 2020

Day after day we have been seeing the images and hearing the stories of those brave healthcare professionals assuming their positions on the frontlines and giving their all in the face of the reality of COVID-19.  Isn’t it gratifying to witness our doctors and nurses getting the credit they deserve?  Healthcare professionals aren’t just heroes during a global pandemic.  Through their commitment to specialize in forensic nursing, they are heroic for thousands of survivors of sexual assault. 

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) have been specially trained in the medical, psychological, and forensic examination of victims of sexual assault.  If you noticed, these nurses do not stop at the physical needs that may be present.  They use their trauma-informed backgrounds to promote a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing to provide the highest holistic level of individual medical care.  The emotional well-being of the survivor is equally as important as the physical and the forensic collection for potential prosecution. 

Consider for a moment that a sexual assault is a sort of personal pandemic.   Survivors require specialized care in order to counter the potential widespread internal devastation the effects can create.  The emergence of forensic nursing in recent years has been incredibly beneficial by blending traditional medical care with trauma-informed practices. 

We not only thank the frontline heroes, we commend the employers who support and implement SANE professionals in their healthcare systems.  We also must do our part to value the importance of the forensic nursing role and make sure our decision makers know we want this specialized care in our communities.  

As we continue to appropriately spotlight our healthcare workers in these unprecedented times, we also want to thank them for continuing to provide trauma-informed care for those who have experienced sexual violence.  Just as Fred Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping." For more information on the SANE role or if you or someone you know could benefit from support following sexual violence, please call our helpers at 1-877-933-1990.

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Contact us

Safe Place Sexual Assault Center
PO Box 235
Batesville, Indiana 47006
812-932-SAFE (7233)
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This project is supported in part (or in whole) by grant, 03215VAGX006403 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Views contained herein are those of the author and do not represent the position of USDOJ or ICJI.