JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OUTLINES BENEFITS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT NURSE EXAMINER PROGRAMS
Contact: Office for Victims of Crime, 202-307-0703
SAN ANTONIO, May 25 -- Specially trained nurses called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) can play a pivotal role in responding to sexual assault by providing valuable services to victims and collecting evidence.
The Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will
release the SANE bulletin tonight at the Sexual Assault Response
Team (SART) Training Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The SART
Training Conference, the first national, multi-disciplinary
conference on training members of community response teams that
serve sexual assault victims, will continue through Sunday.
"The SART Training will help communities develop and improve
comprehensive and coordinated efforts to serve sexual assault
victims," said OVC Acting Director Kathryn Turman. "Sexual Assault
Nurse Examiners are a critical part of these efforts because they
provide victims with needed services, while also improving evidence
collection for better prosecution."
SANEs are registered nurses who have advanced education and
clinical preparation in examining sexual assault victims. They are
also trained in gathering evidence. SANEs can offer prompt,
compassionate care that preserves victims' dignity and reduces
their psychological trauma.
A Wisconsin SANE program reported that during a 38-month period,
prosecutors had a 100 percent conviction rate in cases where a SANE
testified at a trial. A prosecutor in Virginia reported that SANEs
are particularly effective in child sexual abuse cases. Children
who are examined by SANEs are less traumatized by the exam, which
allows for improved evidence collection and leads to more
Since 1997, the number of SANE programs nationwide has grown
from 86 to more than 340 today. In 1999, OVC released the "Sexual
Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development and Operation Guide,"
which provides detailed information on how to operate model
hospital and community-based SANE programs, including assessing
community needs, developing community support and staff selection
The new bulletin, "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)
Programs: Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault
Victims," examines the impact of SANE programs on victims'
services, law enforcement and prosecution. It describes promising
SANE practices, possible funding sources and a list of resources.
SANEs will be one of the topics at the SART Training, which will
also highlight issues such as DNA evidence, offender profiling,
drug-facilitated sexual assault, child victims, and victims with
developmental disabilities. Nearly 700 participants are expected
to attend, including law enforcement professionals, prosecutors,
forensic examiners, SANEs, victim service providers and victim
"Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs: Improving the
Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims," as well as the
information about other OVC publications, programs and conferences,
are available through the OVC Website at
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc and from the OVC Resources Center at
The "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development and
Operation Guide," and more information about the SART Training
Conference are available at www.sane-sart.com
Information about other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) bureaus
and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media
should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at