Survivors of sexual assault face numerous hurdles in the aftermath of the crime, not the least of which is ensuring they can access a medical-forensic exam conducted by a trained medical professional. These trained professionals, often referred to as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE), or Forensic Nurses (FN) ensure that victims’ injuries are treated, prophylaxis against infection and pregnancy are administered, and forensic evidence is expertly collected. Using a trauma-informed approach, SANEs treat victims with respect and dignity, while honoring their choices throughout the process. Research indicates that when victims receive services from a SANE, they are more likely to seek help (e.g., counseling, therapy) and participate in the criminal justice process.
But what happens if the victim doesn’t have transportation to the post assault healthcare services they need? What if the crime occurs in a rural area and the only clinic with trained SANEs is located hours away from where the assault occurred? What if the only transportation available is the bus or taxi, but the victim can’t afford to pay the fares? What if the victim lives in a rural community where there are no buses or taxis? Affordable, safe, discrete, and reliable transportation is key to ensuring that victims of sexual assault have access to medical-forensic exams.
Hosts Kristina Rose, EVAWI and Kim Day, IAFN, will engage in a discussion with guests representing organizations around the country that are providing a range of transportation options for sexual assault survivors. The guests include:
- Deb Holbrook, Director of Forensic Nursing, Mercy Hospital, Baltimore
- Nancy Hoffman, West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services
- Jaclyn Rodriguez SANE Coordinator, Office of the Illinois Attorney General
- Kelly McIntosh, MT VOCA Administrator
- Judy Benitez Clancy, Director, Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services, MA Department of Public Health
As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:
- Understand why providing transportation options for sexual assault survivors is important.
- Learn about the consequences when reliable, affordable transportation is not available
- Discuss transportation models and creative approaches undertaken in different communities to ensure transportation is available for all.
- Learn how your community can take advantage of State VOCA funds to support transportation options for sexual assault survivors.
The IAFN is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses can receive 1.5 continuing education hours by watching this webinar and completing the continuing education evaluation. The IAFN is the accredited provider that will award the contact hours and is responsible for adherence to all ANCC criteria for this activity.
This webinar is supported by Grant No. 2017-TA-AX-K038 awarded to EVAWI and Grant No. 2018-TA-AX-K014 awarded to the IAFN by the Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice to EVAWI. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.